NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 19 – Kenya will hold celebrations for its heroes on Tuesday, presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The celebrations known as Mashujaa Day will be held at the Gusii Stadium in Kisii where hundreds of dignitaries are expected.
“We are fully prepared and all is set for the celebrations,” said Karanja Kibicho, the Interior Principal Secretary who chairs the national celebrations committee.
“Everything is in place,” Kibicho said, “all the security arrangements are also well in place.”
Kisii Governor James Ongwae too said the county is prepared to host the celebrations, the first national day public gathering to be held since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country in March.
Ongwae said his administration in collaboration with the national government had set up the necessary measures to ensure the COVID-19 safety protocols are observed.
“You are all welcome to Kisii, the land of matoke (bananas). Remember that this country came into being because of our heroes,” he said.
The celebrations will be the first major national event for the region which was initially poised to host the Madaraka Day celebrations in June but the event was shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thank the President for leading us in implementing measures which have seen the reduction in the rate of infections of COVID-19 and for honouring the pledge to hold this national event in Kisii,” Ongwae said.
The commemoration of the event which is held rotationally has so far been held in the counties of Mombasa, Nakuru, Machakos, Narok, Kakamega, Nyeri and Meru.
Interior Principal Secretary Kibicho said all the infrastructural requirements for the event are in place.
“We have been in the region for weeks trying to ensure that the infrastructure is ready. The national celebrations committee composed of my colleagues has done a great job to ensure that the day turns out to be a success,” he said Monday.
Only 3,000 invited guests will be allowed into the Gusii Stadium due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Kibicho said the decision was made due to the COVID- 19 pandemic that has forced everyone, including the government to adopt a ‘new normal.’
“Therefore, as we host this national day we will ensure that we follow all COVID-19 protocols, so that it cannot become a problem as we celebrate, therefore the usual hosting of crowds, usual display of kids, scouts will be missed during this year’s celebrations but we will ensure that our Mashujaa get the dignity they deserve in our celebrations,” he said.
He added that already the government has placed mounted screens in strategic locations to allow the residents to follow the proceedings outside the stadium and its environs.
President Kenyatta is expected to lead the nation in the fete also known as the Heroes’ Day that is commemorated to honor all those who contributed towards the struggle for Kenya’s independence or positively contributed in the post-independence Kenya.