Family ends public commemoration of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's death after 41 years

President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta lay a wreath at the mausoleum of his father and Kenya's first president  Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. [PSCU]

Today marks the last public commemoration of the death of Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement today at his father's 41st memorial service at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi.

The event, marked annually, traditionally begins with laying a wreath at the Mausoleum in Parliament’s precincts. It is then followed by a memorial service at a church, often in Nairobi.

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died in his sleep while on a working holiday in Mombasa on August 22, 1978.

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Uhuru said the decision was reached after consultation with family members and they will each celebrate him in the manner they remember him.

He added that the family will henceforth hold private commemorations.

“The family has agreed that this is going to be the last celebration of Mzee in this manner. We shall each celebrate him as we remember him and the manner in which we will be doing our things going forward,” he said.

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“From the bottom of my heart on behalf of the family of the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, we thank the second president of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi, who without fail for 21 years, observed this day,” Uhuru said.

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 He also extended the family’s gratitude to the third president Mwai Kibaki who observed the day for 10 years. 

“As we leave today, let us leave with his (Mzee Kenyatta) spirits in our heart and let him guide us. Let him guide what we say, how we act and interact with one another,” Uhuru said.

The Head of State called on Kenyans to remember the founding fathers of the nation by taking actions in line with the dreams and aspirations of those leaders.

“Make a difference in the life of at least one person and let your actions help move our nation forward,” he said.

Today’s event was attended by Deputy President William Ruto, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Majority Leaders Aden Duale (National Assembly) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Senate).

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