By Erick Ochieng’
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Sports Minister Paul Otuoma and Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa were among the high profile personalities who thronged Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, to watch national team Harambee Stars take on Malawi in a Fifa World Cup qualifying match.
Flamboyant Makadara Member of Parliament Mike ‘Sonko’ Mbuvi, who had promised to reward each player with Sh20,000 was present perhaps to witness if Stars would reduce his bank balances.
The game had a high level of security put in place as the Government mobilised disciplined forces with Al Shabaab terrorists always looming large on Kenyans. A huge presence of Administration Police, General Service Unit, Traffic Police and Football Kenya Federation contracted Seneca Security, could be seen round the stadium.
A police chopper hovered over the stadium to strengthen security following bomb explosions that have rocked Nairobi and other parts of Kenya recently.
The occasion was also characterised by business minded individuals who were out to make a kill. Matatus plying Thika Road apparently hiked their prices as they ferried thousands of Kenyans who to watch the match.
Vendors selling Harambee Stars and other national regalias doubled their prices to capitalise on the once in a blue moon day.
The match attracted even neighbouring Ugandan journalists led by veteran Andrew Jackson Oryada, who mingled freely with the Kenyan journalists at the newly refurbished media centre at the venue.
The fans, too, were amazed by the new-look Kasarani that for once had its scoreboard used by corporates to advertise products.
VIP section had state of the art furniture.