State suspends parallel county Mashujaa Day celebrations

NATIONAL |

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho addresses the media after inspecting the Wang'uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County on September 3, 2021. [File, Standard]

The government has suspended parallel Mashuja Day celebrations in counties ahead of the Kirinyaga County event citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement to the media on Friday, Interior PS Dr Karanja Kibicho said the holiday will only be marked in Kirinyaga, a deviation from the traditional practice where County Commissioners lead similar celebrations at county headquarters across the country.

Kibicho said the suspension is meant to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the country with new infections still rising despite the government’s vaccination efforts.

 “Kirinyaga County will be the host for this year’s Mashujaa Day. No celebrations will be held in other counties as it has always been the case. We don’t want to escalate the spread of Covid-19, and that is why we are freezing similar activities in other counties,” he said.

Kisumu City experience a surge in Covid-19 infections surpassing the capital, Nairobi two weeks after hosting the country’s Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2021.

The surge in cases was attributed to large crowds that flocked the lakeside city despite measures by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread.

Kibicho who had toured Kirinyaga County said Wang'uru Stadium that is will host the event on October 20, is 80 per cent complete and will be delivered by October 5 alongside the County Commissioner’s residence in Kerugoya, which will double up as a State Lodge.

“We are satisfied with the progress made so far. From the brief we have received from the construction team, we have never been closer to this level of preparation ahead of the national holiday. This and other infrastructure meant to facilitate this year’s event will be ready by October 5,” he said.

Kirinyaga will join Nakuru, Machakos, Meru, Nyeri, Kakamega, Mombasa, Narok, and Kisii that have hosted two of the three national holidays since 2015 when President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that the celebrations be held outside Nairobi on a rotational basis.

During his trip, the PS was accompanied by his counterparts, Gordon Kihalangwa (Public Works), Prof Paul Maringa (Infrastructure), Jerome Ochieng’ (ICT), Josephta Mukobe (Culture & Heritage), Esther Koimett (Broadcasting & Telecommunications), and Charles Hinga (Housing) as well as Deputy Head of Public Service Wanyama Musiambo.

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