1 June 2014

Kenya: Tight Security As Kenya Turns 51

Nairobi Kenya — Security was tight to a point of allowing no food, no water, nothing to eat - at the Nyayo Stadium where President Uhuru Kenyatta led the nation in celebrating the country's 51st birthday.

Plain-clothed and uniformed police officers were up to the task; nothing was left to chance.

The 30,000 capacity stadium was full to capacity with the audience ready to be entertained and listen to the speeches from their leaders. They were not disappointed.

Things kicked off when the President arrived at 11am and all protocols were observed and then entertainment.

An immediate talking points was the president's new ceremonial motorcade that set the ground elated. The president was in a Toyota Land Cruiser with bullet proof glass surrounding it while his motorcade included other armored vehicles.

"It shows power, this is pure power," I could here some people say as photographers and Kenyans with smart phones grasped the moment to take a photo of it.

After he inspected the guard of honour and settled to the podium, the President would periodically be seen exchanging some light conversation with his Deputy William Ruto and then burst in laughter.

A choir of recruits from the General Service Unit training school was the climax of entertainment. The crowds joined the choir in their singing while making some modern moves.

"This is truly a digital government, even police are rapping," I over heard a conversation, although opinion was divided. "With the dancing they cannot work well, we need serious officers."

Another said, "people are turning digital, it's not wrong. Police too are human; they should have fun too."

Then came the moment of speeches and the Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero was invited and the crowd gave him a warm welcome. This must have been good for him after the Saturday heckling by Coalition for Reforms and Democracy supporters.

Kidero said he would work for all without fear or favour.

The Deputy President William Ruto used his chance to affirm the government's commitment to work for all, but reminded the opposition that it was under the Jubilee administration.

We have one leader, we have one Government... and we will work for those who voted for us and those who did not because this is the Government of Kenya," he stated.

"We shall resist and defeat every form of profiling, discrimination or marginalisation. I want to ask all leaders, those in government and opposition; we have one country, one government and it's our duty and calling to work for the people of Kenya."

The President also had a strong message to the opposition that their ideas were welcome but Jubilee would not welcome talk of a coalition government.

"We thanks Kenyans for giving us a chance to lead this Government for five years, those thinking that there will be 'Nusu Mkate' (power sharing) they should forget," he affirmed amid celebrations from the citizens.

"The Government is firm... but we welcome all who want to come and we discuss the country issues."

Nusu Mkate is a euphemism for the coalition government which former President Mwai Kibaki formed with opposition leader Raila Odinga with the latter appointed as Prime Minister in 2008.

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