Healthcare workers among those feted on Mashujaa Day

From left: President Uhuru Kenyatta, Chief of Defence Forces Robert Kibochi, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and his wife Rachael Ruto during Mashujaa Day fete at Gusii Stadium on October 20, 2020.

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

President Uhuru Kenyatta honoured a number of heroes and heroines, people he said had selflessly and consistently worked hard to bring the much needed change in society.

The president recognised efforts by health workers in the fight against Covid-19, young people he described as important drivers of the country’s development, liberation struggle veterans, the diaspora fraternity that supported the liberation struggle and law enforcers keeping Kenya safe.

The President said the best way to honour the heroes and celebrate the annual Mashujaa Day is to teach children to sacrifice for ideals bigger than themselves.

While calling for modern day heroism, Mr Kenyatta gave reference to the liberation struggle heroes, saying they were ordinary people who became extraordinary because of the choices they made.

“They did not start out as heroes. Their heroism was only revealed as they stubbornly confronted obstacles that stood in their path to freedom,” the President told the nation at Gusii stadium.

“They only became heroes moment by moment as the liberation for our country from the shackles of the coloniser unfolded.”

President Kenyatta explained to young people his plans.

“My call to our young people is to get off the wayside of pessimism and into the arena. If the young veterans of war had not heeded the summons of change, we would not be having independence,” he said.

President Kenyatta’s allies have been castigating Deputy President William Ruto, saying his programme of giving young people wheelbarrows and carts is not sustainable.

“Do not be afraid of paying the price. If you have a dream, pay the price and the dream will come to you. If you have a challenge, pay the price and it will solve itself,” he said.

The President on Friday made public transformative programmes and projects undertaken by young people in Manyani, Taita Taveta, in an event attended by his deputy and several Cabinet secretaries.

He described as heroes and heroines a team of more than 800 young people drawn from across the republic, whom he said have undertaken seminal programmes.

Also in his package of recognition were Covid-19 heroes and heroines, particularly health care workers, for their dedication and selflessness.

“I want to give special mention to our departed health workers such as Dr Doreen Lugaliki of Nairobi South Hospital, Clifford Mburia of Kitengela Medical Centre, Moses Ringera of the University of Nairobi Health Services and Marian Awuor of Rachuonyo Hospital,” Mr Kenyatta said.

“Their memory will forever be engraved in our hearts.”

Also recognised were foreigners who supported the country’s liberation struggle. Former Indian Prime minister Jawarhal Nehru was one of the early supporters of Kenya’s independence.

“When the Kapenguria Six were put on trial, he provided part of the legal team that defended them,” the President said, adding that other diaspora heroes were the leaders of the Pan-Africanist Movement.

The President and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga recognised the efforts by pre and post-colonial heroes and heroines from the Abagusii community.

The two said Kenyans would never forget the evil meted on them by the British colonial authorities.

“Mzee Jomo Kenyatta advised that for our country to heal and move forward, we must forgive but never forget,” President Kenyatta said.

Mr Odinga moved the crowd with laughter in his narration of how the Abagusii were involved in fighting for Kenya’s independence.

Among those recognised yesterday were paramount chief Angwenyi Gichana, senior chief Onsong Angwenyi, Ooga Angwenyi, Zacharia Angwenyi, Musa Nyandusi and Assa Onyiego.

Politicians Lawrence Sagini, James Nyamweya and Zachary Onyonka were also honoured.

Mr Nyamweya was among the first people from the region to earn a law degree from Kings College, London.

He returned to Kenya and served in various ministerial positions before being defeated in an election in 1979 by Mr Andrew Omanga.

Dr Zachary Onyonka was one of the longest serving cabinet minister in independent Kenya. He died at a London hospital in 1996.

Sagini was Kenya’s first Minister for Education in 1963. He was the first elected representative to the Legislative Council in 1961 and later became MP for Kitutu West.

President Kenyatta also honoured leaders from the community who heeded the call to serve in the public arena.

Amongst them was George Moseti Anyona, Justice Onyiego Nyarangi and former minister Simeon Nyachae.

Nyachae was a powerful civil servant from 1980 and 1986 during the reign of President Daniel Moi.

Before being appointed the Chief Secretary, Mr Nyachae had served as a provincial commissioner.

Njiru honoured

Meanwhile, the late President Daniel Moi's former Press Secretary Lee Njiru was among six people feted by the Nakuru County government on Mashujaa Day.

Mr Njiru, who served the former Head of State for over 40 years, is one of the longest serving civil servants.

Last year, the Public Service Commission extended Mr Njiru’s contract to September 11, 2021 when he is set to retire.

At the same event held at Davison Primary School in Kihingo, Njoro Moses Kamonye, a well-known businessman in Nakuru and Prof Richard Musangi, the Vice Chancellor Kabianga University, were also feted.

Mr Kamonye was recognised for his prowess in business and his contribution to the economy of Nakuru whereas Prof Musangi was celebrated for his contribution in the Education sector.

Nakuru also honoured a county official who passed on last month due to breathing complications.

Meanwhile, the late President Daniel Moi's former Press Secretary Lee Njiru was among six people feted by the Nakuru County government on Mashujaa Day.

Mr Njiru, who served the former Head of State for over 40 years, is one of the longest serving civil servants.

Last year, the Public Service Commission extended Mr Njiru’s contract to September 11, 2021 when he is set to retire.

At the same event held at Davison Primary School in Kihingo, Njoro Moses Kamonye, a well-known businessman in Nakuru and Prof Richard Musangi, the Vice Chancellor Kabianga University, were also feted.

Mr Kamonye was recognised for his prowess in business and his contribution to the economy of Nakuru whereas Prof Musangi was celebrated for his contribution in the Education sector.

Nakuru also honoured Engineer James Ochieng’, a former county official, who passed on last month due to breathing complications.

Additional reporting by Eric Matara.

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