Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta is on Wednesday set to lead Kenyans in celebrating the 59th Madaraka Day at the newly renovated Uhuru Gardens memorial park, his last while in office.
At least 30,000 Kenyans are expected to grace the event where Sierra Leone President Juliua Bio will be the guest of honour and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho welcomed all Kenyans to the celebrations.
However, with the rising cases of the coronavirus in the country, Kenyans were urged to put on their masks and those without them will be denied access to the venue.
“It is not an invite only and therefore each and every Kenyan is most welcome to come and celebrate. The park has a 30,000 sitting capacity and therefore I am confident that it will accommodate all those who would love to be at the venue,” Kibicho said Tuesday night during an interview on Citizen TV.
“The of course have to wear their masks and follow all other COVID-19 protocols because you have seen the numbers are rising.”
Kibicho said the military will take the centre stage in this year’s Madaraka Day with a lot of showcasing of what the military does best as they say goodbye to their Commander in Chief President Kenyatta.
“There will be a lot of showcasing of military wear, hardware of the military something that does not happen but it will because they will have to say goodbye to their commander in chief but we will also have the usual cultural display and a lot of happiness in our brand-new grounds that will also be used to host such events in the future,” Kibicho said.
He pointed out that this year’s celebrations will cost taxpayers between Sh. 60 to 70 million.
Themed ‘Pamoja Tusonge Mbele,’ Nairobi Regional Commissioner William Kang’ethe Thuku described it as the first Madaraka Day that will be celebrated countrywide after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged Kenyans.
He said the celebration marks a very important milestone in the nation as Kenyans are due to celebrate 59 years since the attainment of self-rule from the yoke of colonialism and also approaching the third general election since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
He urged Kenyans to remind themselves of the attainment of internal self-rule and the need to jealously safeguard Madaraka day in everyday transactions.
On logistical matters, The National Police Service (NPS) said there will be no traffic disruptions expected.
Spokesperson Bruno Shioso who issued guidelines said that adequate police officers will be deployed to guide all motorists and ensure the free flow of traffic to and from the venue.
Shioso said vehicles with red stickers will be ushered to Uhuru gardens through gate three and the spillover will be guided for parking at Uchumi supermarket.
“Motorists are urged to exercise caution and obey traffic laws at all times. Stern action will be taken against offenders,” he stated.
Shioso said other vehicles will proceed along Langata link road, drop visitors at Carnivore-link road junction and will be guided for parking at Carnivore grounds.
“The rest of the vehicles will drop visitors at the same junction then proceed to Swami Narayan Temple road and park at Ulinzi Sports Complex,” he stated.
Shioso further stated that after the celebrations are over, VVIPs will be the first to leave through gate two followed by vehicles parked at Uchumi supermarket, those at Carnival Grounds and finally those at Ulinzi Sports Complex.