Uhuru announces the end of public commemoration of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's death

Uhuru ends 41-year-old tradition upheld by two former Presidents

President Uhuru Kenyatta announces the end of public commemoration of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's death during 41st memorial service on August 22, 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday announced the end of a 41-year-old tradition that was upheld by former President Daniel Arap Moi and his predecessor, the third President Mwai Kibaki.

President Kenyatta declared an end to public observation of August 22, as the day Kenya's founding President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died.

The President stated that the decision had been arrived at following consultations with the larger Kenyatta family.

"As President, I have consulted the family of the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and we have agreed together that this is going to be the last celebration of Mzee in this manner.

"We shall each celebrate him as we remember him and in the manner that we each lead our lives," he explained.

The president went on to convey his and the Kenyatta family's thanks to former President Moi and former President Kibaki who faithfully observed the day for 21 and 10 years respectively.

It felt like the end of the world - Uhuru remembers his father's death

President Kenyatta recounted August 22, 1978 stating that it is a day that is etched in his memory.

"I still remember this early morning 41 years ago very vividly...for some of us it felt like the end of the world because we couldn't imagine life without him [Mzee Jomo Kenyatta].

"But 41 years down the road, what still carries some of us forward is the time that we were able to spend with him, to listen to him, to see what he was doing...and we ask ourselves whether what we are doing everyday serves the memory and the purpose he stood for," the president stated.

The President further asked his listeners to note that it is never what people do in public or as leaders that is remembered, that it is always what people do in their families that leaves a mark.

The celebrations have been marked with a ceremonial laying of wreaths at Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's mausoleum by the sitting President, the Deputy President, former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the Nairobi governor, Parliament leaders and other dignitaries.

The military has also played a major role by mounting a guard of honour and conducting other military processions.


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