Jamhuri fete disrupted in counties as Uhuru leads fete in Nairobi

President Kenyatta warns foreign countries against interfering in 2017

What you need to know:

  • President Kenyatta is expected to lead the nation in the celebrations from Nyayo national stadium, Nairobi.

  • Mr Kenyatta has invited Togolese President Fare Essozimna Gnassingbe as the special guest at this year’s commemoration.

President Kenyatta on Monday led the nation in marking the 53rd Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.

In counties, governors and county commissioners took charge of the event that commemorates the day Kenya got independence from Britain on December 12, 1963.

Togolese President Fare Essozimna Gnassingbe attended the Nyayo event as one of President Kenyatta's special guests.

SECURITY TIGHT

The programme was disrupted by rains that drenched the city mid morning, with Deputy President inviting Mr Kenyatta to address the nation without giving any remarks.

Entertainment, which features prominently in the programme, did not get enough time in the rush.

However, the Kenya Defence Forces got a chance to display to the nation their skills, including trooping of the colour.

The Kenya Navy displays it skills during the celebrations at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | JOHN NGIRACHU | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

In his speech, President Kenyatta urged Kenyans to maintain peace and remain united ahead of the 2017 elections.

He fired a warning shot to foreign countries he said were planning to influence the outcome of the polls by funding shadowy projects.

Wajir County Commissioner Michael Ole Tialal and Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi lead the event at Wajir Stadium. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

"There is already money coming into Kenya from abroad in the guise of supporting good governance or civic education. However, its true intention is to influence our electoral choices," he said.

He said Kenyans will not shed blood again because of elections like it happened in 2007, adding that Jubilee will challenge the outcome in court if it is not satisfied with the electoral process.

Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal arrives with his delegation for the celebrations at Kisima Police Post Grounds in Maralal. PHOTO | ERIC MATARA | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

The Head of State also took a swipe at the International Criminal Court, accusing it of lacking impartiality.

"We have started to see many more nations openly recognizing that the ICC is not impartial. Some have withdrawn. Others have considered that step. Twice, our Parliament has passed motions to withdraw," he said.

Armed officers form a ring around the dais where Senator Kiraitu Murungi and Governor Peter Munya and their supporters are seated at Meru National Polytechnic. PHOTO | KENNEDY KIMANTHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

SERIOUS THOUGHT

"We have sought the changes that will align the ICC to respect for national sovereignty. Those changes have not been forthcoming. We will therefore need to give serious thought to our membership."

Chaos and confusion marred the celebrations in Meru after supporters of Governor Peter Munya and his rival Kiraitu Murungi clashed, disrupting the event.

Trouble began immediately Mr Munya arrived at around 10.45am and went straight to the dais at the Meru National Polytechnic where he was received by County Secretary Julius Kimathi, county employees and his supporters.

Supporters of Governor Munya and Senator Murungi clash at Meru National Polytechnic. PHOTO | KENNEDY KIMANTHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

Only one stanza of the National Anthem was sang as Mr Murungi's supporters in Jubilee T-shirts started walking out of the meeting.

One of the MCs, Julius Mugambi, invited Mr Munya's political adviser Bishop John Ataya to pray but North Imenti Deputy County Commissioner Jim Njoka could here none of it.

MIC FIGHT

The two struggled for the microphone but eventually, the bishop prayed for the county and governor before the device was snatched from him.

Mr Njoka told the crowd that no activities would proceed until his boss, County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga, arrived.

Supporters of Governor Munya and Senator Murungi clash at Meru National Polytechnic. PHOTO | KENNEDY KIMANTHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

Mr Nyagwanga arrived a few minutes later and went straight to inspect the guard of honour where he was joined by Mr Munya.

The two did not speak to each other.

PARADE DRAMA

But even as the National Anthem was sang for a second time, Mr Murungi who was accompanied by Meru MPs allied to his Kikali outfit and their supporters, arrived.

They then lined up and also claimed to inspect the marching parade.

The sitting arrangement had left out Mr Murungi and his handlers were forced to look for an alternative seat for him.

Supporters of Governor Munya and Senator Murungi clash at Meru National Polytechnic. PHOTO | KENNEDY KIMANTHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

There was even more confusion as entertainers took sides in singing praises for their preferred leaders who joined them in traditional dances.

Police had a hard time trying to control some of the leaders' supporters who were running into the field to join them.

POLITICAL WAR

Mr Munya and Mr Murungi are embroiled in a fierce political contest for the Meru gubernatorial post in 2017.

Senator Murungi accuses Mr Munya's administration of embezzling funds in the name of development.

But the governor, who was recently enthroned as the Party of National Unity (PNU) leader, exudes confidence of winning next year because of his development record.

Reported by Abiud Ochieng, John Ngirachu, Harry Misiko and Kennedy Kimanthi.

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