Kenyans will no longer commemorate the death of Kenya’s founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
Making the announcement, President Uhuru Kenyatta who led Kenyans Thursday in marking the 41st anniversary announced that this year’s ceremony will be the last public commemoration of Mzee Kenyatta’s death. He said the decision was reached after consultations with the larger Kenyatta family.
Speaking during a memorial service commemorating at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi, the Head of State thanked his predecessors for consistently honouring his father.
The nation’s founding father died in office in 1978 in Mombasa.
“We are here to remember a man who gave his life to the service of this nation. “Leadership is not about where you were born, where you came from, the color of your skin or your tribe, it is just about a desire to serve, a desire to do good, a desire to make a difference in the lives of people and anybody can do that” he said.
As is the tradition, President Uhuru Kenyatta led the family members in laying a wreath at the Jomo Kenyatta mausoleum located next to Parliament buildings in Nairobi.
The President, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, was joined by Deputy President Dr William Ruto during the commemoration mass held at the Holy Family Minor Basilica in Nairobi.
While addressing hundreds of people at the memorial service, the President called on Kenyans to always act in the good interest of the nation and their compatriots.
He encouraged all Kenyans to remember the founding fathers of the nation by taking actions in line with the dreams and aspirations the leaders held for the country.
“Make a difference in the life of at least one person and let your actions help move our nation forward,” the President said.
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto said Mzee Kenyatta inspired his compatriots in the freedom struggle and the nation to fight oppression and gain independence.
He said Mzee Kenyatta and the other founding fathers of the nation laid a strong foundation for Kenya that has seen the country make tremendous progress over the decades.
“He laid a firm foundation through the harambee spirit and his slogan was Harambee (pulling together), Uhuru (freedom) na Kazi (and service). This is the philosophy through which our country has been developed,” DP Ruto said.
Dr Ruto said President Kenyatta’s Big 4 development blueprint that seeks to bring wholesome transformation of the nation is in the spirit of freedom and service as it intends to empower Kenyans through job and wealth creation.
Other leaders who attended the commemoration service included Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Majority Leaders Aden Duale (National Assembly) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Senate).
President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta lay a wreath of flowers at the mausoleum of founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as part of activities to commemorate the 41st anniversary since his death in 1978. @WilliamsRuto pic.twitter.com/hUMBgmgovJ
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) August 22, 2019