The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: President Presides Over His Last Military Parade

President Kibaki will today preside over his last military pass out parade at the Moi Barracks in Eldoret. An elaborate ceremony will be staged at the Recruits Training College for Kibaki who is also the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces.

Security has been tightened at the Moi Barracks on the Eldoret-Kitale road ahead of the ceremony. "Even journalists have to be at the venue by 8am to avoid security inconveniences," said Department of Defense spokesman Bogita Ongeri.

Those who will attend the ceremony will be thoroughly screened. Kibaki will be accompanied by Minister for Defense Yusuf Haji and other top military chiefs.

Except for one time when the pass out parade was presided over by former Vice President the late Michael Wamalwa Kijana, Kibaki has attended the yearly ceremony at the Moi Barracks for all the years he has been in power.

Meanwhile the government has beefed up security in counties affected by cattle rustling as part of preparations for the March 4 general election. More police officers have arrived in Turkana, Pokot, Baringo and Samburu.

Baringo county commissioner Benard Leparamarai said they have taken adequate steps to ensure security at all polling stations and other parts of the region.

"We will ensure that all those who want to vote and officials will participate in the exercise free of fear because of insecurity. Our officers have already been stationed in their respective areas to be ready for the exercise," said Leparamarai.

However there are fears that more than 10,000 voters may miss to cast their votes as they had already been displaced from their homes and are not likely to return before the polls.

Some of the families displaced due to cattle rustling in parts of Baringo have fled to the neighbouring Elgeyo Marakwet County which is far from the areas where they were registered.

Leparamarai has however asked all those who had left their homes to return and prepare to vote because the government had improved the security situation better than before.

Officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are also preparing for the polling in the same areas under tight security.

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