A week after cementing his “greatest of all time” athelete status with a world first, marathoner Eliud Kipchoge arrived in Mombasa in style to crown the country’s Mashujaa Day celebrations.
Kipchoge arrived in the coastal city aboard a Kenya Forest Services plane and checked into Pride Inn paradise beach resort ahead of today’s celebrations at the Mama Ngina Waterfront grounds.
The celebrations will be led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and attended by other government dignitaries. Kipchoge who quietly jetted back into the country, is expected to receive a special honour. In another break from tradition, the military match pasts common at national celebrations will involve naval vessels and marine maneuvers through the Likoni Channel, besides the usual infantry and air force displays.
City streets have been decorated with national flags and mementos. Thousands of locals are expected to attend. Projections indicate today’s celebrations will last no more than two hours to beat the heat and humidity that peak towards the afternoon as well as rains that have been pounding Mombasa for days. The President is expected to address national and foreign policy issues on the economy, foreign relations even as he highlights his administration’s achievements.
He is also expected to touch on sticky issues surrounding youth unemployment, performance of the economy, national cohesion and local grievances around the Likoni ferry services, Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Lamu Port. There are also reports that world male marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge might attend the fete in Mombasa. Uhuru arrived in Mombasa on Thursday while Opposition leader Raila Odinga arrived yesterday. Security has been heightened in the city ahead today’s fete, with the Kenya Navy joining the police for security operations especially in areas adjacent to the venue. The National Youth Service (NYS) has also been involved in the preparations. Mama Ngina Waterfront renovation cost some Sh460 million.