NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 10 – The government says Kenyans planning to attend Tuesday’s memorial service of former President Daniel arap Moi at Nyayo stadium should be seated by 7.00am.
Speaking to Capital FM News on Monday, Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said this will ensure the exercise expected to be attended by thousands of Kenyans is seamless.
“All those Kenyans intending to attend should be there by 7.00am,” he said.
Oguna said the projected number of Heads of State who will attend the memorial service and the subsequent burial of the retired leader in his Sacho home in Kabarnet, Baringo County, is set to rise from the current 10 that was announced on Sunday.
“A comprehensive list will be issued in the course of the day, but we expect quite a number,” he said.
The body of President Moi which is lying-in-state in Parliament buildings where thousands of Kenyans have been spotted braving the scorching sun on the third and final day of viewing will be ferried back to Lee Funeral Home at 5.00pm ahead of the viewing.
Oguna said the body will thereafter be ferried on Tuesday morning under the escort of the military to the Nyayo National Stadium, a facility that has undergone a facelift by government.
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua who is leading the burial preparations told journalists on Sunday he was impressed by the ongoing preparations and exuded confidence that all will be set by Tuesday.
“The work that has been done is very commendable and we believe that on Tuesday we will be able to impress not just the Kenyan people or people in Africa but the rest of the world. I am very pleased in what the team has done so far to make sure that everything works well,” he said.
A spot-check by Capital FM News on Sunday revealed concerted efforts to restore the national stadium which had been closed for maintenance in 2018.
The prolonged closure had been widely condemned by Kenyan football fans after the country’s successful bid to host the African Championship (CHAN), a decision which was later rescinded by the continental football body over delays in preparing stadia.
President Uhuru Kenyatta made an impromptu visit to ensure that the venue for the memorial service is ready by Tuesday.
Others who were present during the inspection included Chief of Defense Forces Samson Mwathathe and Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.
Construction workers were seen putting up inter-locking bricks on different parts of the venue ostensibly to impress the hundreds of guests who will attend the memorial service.
The platform where the casket will be placed to allow Kenyans and dignitaries attending the service have a better view of the casket bearing Moi’s remains was also getting final touches.
Red seats were also placed on the main dais where President Kenyatta will occupy among other guests with security officers on the ground overseeing the process to ensure a seamless exercise.
Painting of the seats at the terraces was also being undertaken to give the venue a fresh new look.
The changes at the stadium were so visible, indicative that the government’s intent was clear to have the place christened ‘Nyayo’, Moi’s philosophy during his 24-year reign.