Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge who made history by becoming the first human to break the two-hour marathon barrier has been feted with highest award during this year’s Mashujaa celebrations held at the Mama Ngina Waterfront grounds in Mombasa County.
President Uhuru Kenyatta honoured the legend with the highest award – Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya for his epic achievement.
Kipchoge was among dignitaries who graced the occasion.
What are these presidential awards conferred to distinguished Kenyans by a sitting Head of State?
Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya
The highest of these awards is the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya which is divided into three categories depending on their seniority. The most senior is the Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (C.G.H.) which is mostly awarded to Presidents.
Apart from sitting Kenyan Presidents, other notable figures who have previously been given the honour include Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, his Liberian counterpart Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Agha Khan IV among others.
Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) which is awarded to among others the Deputy President, Speakers of Parliament, Cabinet Secretaries, the First Lady, the wife of the Deputy President, Head of Public Service and the Kenya Defence Forces’ (KDF) Chief of Staff.
The last in this category is the Moran of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (M.G.H.) whose recipients include senior KDF commanders and the Inspector General of Police.
The second highest category of the awards is the Order of the Burning Spear which is equally divided into the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (C.B.S.), Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (E.B.S.) and Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (M.B.S.).
The other presidential orders in terms of seniority include; the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya, the Distinguished Conduct Order, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star of Kenya, Head of State’s Commendation and the Uhodari Medal.
These commendations are given to recipients on the advice of the National Honours and Awards Committee in the Office of the President.
According to the National Honours Act, those who merit the decoration include; a person who exhibits exemplary qualities, or achievements of heroism, patriotism or leadership, one who has made an exemplary contribution to the country in the economic, scientific, academic, sports, journalism, business, security or other fields.
Others to be considered are a State officer or public officer who has made an exemplary contribution to the betterment of the national or county governments, the executive, the judiciary, the legislature and a person who has otherwise brought honour, glory or pride to the nation.
— Amb. Monica Juma (@Diplomacy_Kenya) October 20, 2019