Mombasa — President Uhuru Kenyatta has honoured marathoner Eliud Kipchoge with Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (EGH) for his outstanding performance.
This is the second-highest honour in Kenyan medals after the Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (CGH), with reports indicating it has been bestowed on 198 people since the country's self-rule 56 years ago.
"I wish to invite and recognise Eliud Kipchoge with the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart," President Kenyatta said Sunday in his speech at the Mashujaa Day celebrations held in port city of Mombasa.
"Eliud has proved that everything is possible by becoming the first human being to complete a marathon in under 2 hours," President Kenyatta said in his speech.
The EGH award is awarded to among others the Deputy President, Speakers of the Parliament, Cabinet Secretaries, the First Lady, wife of the Deputy President, Head of the Public Service and the Chief of Staff of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
"Today Kenya is the global custodian of both the men and women world record marathon titles. Our very own Eliud Kipchoge who is with us today has gone beyond the world title he bagged in 2018 and has further achieved the previous unthinkable feat of being the first human being to run the marathon distance in under two hours," he said.
The President also paid tribute to professionals in various disciplines, singling out Peter Tabichi who was honoured recently as the best teacher, even earning an invitation to the White House where he met US President Donald Trump.
"On this day we celebrate those who have built Kenya with their bravery, their sacrifice and their fidelity; we celebrate and honour those that go above and beyond the call of duty," he said.
Deputy President William Ruto rooted for the country's unity and an end to divisive politics.
"I want to ask all of us to refuse to be drawn into the politics of ethnicity, hatred, division, political deceit and stand firm behind President Uhuru Kenyatta so that we can unify this country and concentrate on the transformation of Kenya," he stated.
ODM leader Raila Odinga urged Kenyans to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which, he said, will usher in transformation in the country.
"The handshake is to unite all Kenyans so that they all can live as brothers and sisters. There is also the BBI initiative which all Kenyans need to support as it will bring needed change," he said.
Earlier, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho lauded the unity pact between President Kenyatta and Odinga which he said has led to accelerated development in the country.