By JOB WERU
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family spent a quiet Christmas Day at the Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri, ahead of Thursday’s trip to Juba in the trouble-torn South Sudan.
Sources close to State House said the President arrived at the previously disused lodge on Tuesday evening, and spent the entire Christmas Day at the lodge.
This is the first time a sitting President has retreated to Nyeri to enjoy Christmas.
For the past ten years, the Sagana State Lodge has been in use very few times, as retired President Mwai Kibaki only used to visit the State facility whenever he had meeting with leaders from Mt Kenya region.
However, the State Lodge went down in history as the place where Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga met and furnished the initial list of cabinet ministers in the Coalition Government in 2008.
Since then, the President rarely used the facility, until after President Kenyatta ascended to power, when he made a visit to Nyeri and spent three nights at the facility-with his family.
The State Lodge is situated in a quiet, mixed tropic rain forest at the hedges of Mt Kenya Forest.
It is in a serene and calm area, away from the hustles and bustles of both Nyeri and Karatina towns, along the Chaka-Kiamariga-Karatina road.
Uhuru left the State Lodge yesterday morning for Juba, where he was heading to hold talks with President Salva Kiir on a one-day State visit.
Meanwhile, It was all smiles for 71 children at the Eldoret Child Rescue Centre in Uasin-Gishu County when the wife of Deputy President William Ruto, Rachel visited them and donated various foodstuffs during the Christmas celebrations.
The children through their songs, thanked Mrs Ruto for the donations that came in handy, saying they will enjoy Christmas like the rest of their colleagues in the country.
The Deputy President’s wife who was accompanied by Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Cornelius Korir, retired Anglican Bishop Thomas Kogo and Eldoret West DC Charles Wanjau, called on Kenyans to help disadvantaged children.
Bishop Korir thanked Mrs. Ruto and her family for the support.
‘Let nobody say negative things about you because of the situation you are in. You are wonderful people of God. The fact that you see leaders seated in front of you like today, you should count yourselves blessed and privileged. God has good plans for you,’ she told the children.
The foodstuffs comprised of several bags of maize flour, wheat flour, cooking oil, biscuits, several crates of soda, and bags of maize among others.
Bishop Korir thanked Mrs. Ruto and her family for the support they have continued to offer the children’s rescue centre and appealed to other well-wishers to borrow a leaf from them and assist the centre.