Military precision: What to expect during Kibaki's funeral service

The day’s procession will begin at 8.30am.

FILE - The late Mwai Kibaki smiles during a press conference 29 December 2002 in Nairobi after the chairman of the country's electoral commission announced Kibaki was the new president of Kenya. (Photo by ALEXANDER JOE/AFP via Getty Images)

The country’s attention shifts to Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi where heads of state, diplomats and thousands of Kenyans are expected to attend the historic service in honor of the third president of the Republic.

By 6:15 a.m. military and regular police were arriving at Lee Funeral home for preparations. The road that stretches into Argwings Kodhek from Silver Springs roundabout to Ralph Bunche road was controlled by the traffic police.

From 8:30am the body of the late left Lee Funeral Home and was taken to State House. The former President was transported in a civilian hearse but was escorted by a military band.

At State House, a brief guard of honour will be mounted and the National Anthem played as President Kenyatta, alongside First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, receive the body.

At 9am, the procession is expected to depart State House for Nyayo Stadium, where the state funeral will be held in his honour ahead of burial at his Othaya home on Saturday. April 30.

The six-hour send-off programme for Kenya’s third President will be a largely military affair. However, since the late was a staunch Catholic, the Mass will be conducted by Archbishop Philip Anyolo, assisted by Archbishop Martin Kivuva.

About three sitting heads of state are expected in the event. Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau confirmed that Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir Mayardit are in attendance.

President Kenyatta will arrive at Nyayo stadium at 10.30am and the state reception for Kibaki’s funeral procession is set to begin at 10.45am with a guard of honour followed by a procession to the altar.

The six-hour service is expected to involve presentations by choirs from Kenya Army Band State House choir and the Starehe Boys Centre Band as well as tributes led by President Kenyatta and family of the late, before the casket heads back to Lee at 2pm.

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