There was song and dance in different parts of the country and on social media platforms as former President Uhuru Kenyatta celebrated his 62nd birthday on Thursday, October 26.
The celebrations were held in Jubilee headquarters, Gatundu South town market, Nyeri town, Thika Road, Githunguri, Kenol, Githurai, Murang’a town and in Molo where locals hailed the former President for his ‘outstanding performance when he was the President for 10 years’.
In Gatundu market, women traders donned red-themed aprons and hand scarfs written ‘Jubilee, Tuko Mbele Pamoja’ the Jubilee party’s slogan displayed a cake, decorated with the Kenyan national flag with one tier decorated with court and tie together with drinks to celebrate Uhuru’s birthday.
The market was decorated with different coloured balloons and posters with Uhuru’s photos and wording ‘Happy birthday’ with the Jubilee party logo, on the side.
This is a market constructed under the former administration at a cost of Sh312 million and women had flowers to show gratitude to the former President for building them a modern market.
“God bless you for all your efforts in leading our great country towards better days, may you receive His blessings with good health and prosperity to this and many more years to come,” the woman said.
In both the Gatundu market and at Jubilee headquarters one thing was common, a Kikuyu hit song by Wanjiru Wa Waya dubbed ‘Kuma wathii ni kwanyitanire’ which literally means things are thick since you left’ which was a political regret by Uhuru’s supporters.
According to the setting of the song, the artist calls her estranged husband, registering regrets and informing him that since they parted ways, life has been difficult and children have been asking for his whereabouts pleading for him to come back for the sake of children.
The traders also apologised to the former Head of State for failing to adhere to his directives in last year’s general elections adding that life has been hell under Kenya Kwanza administration.
“When he was our leader, he gave our sons jobs while we were able to fund our children’s education fees and chores that we can’t manage now. We failed him by going for the wave; we can only seek forgiveness,” Nyambura Kimani said.
In the ceremony held at Jubilee headquarters led by Jubilee Party Vice Chairman David Murathe, the Jubilee supporters also sang wiku wiku, another love song pleading with a female lover to go back to his lover as he has been restless.
The former President through Murathe’s phone addressed Jubilee supporters where he thanked them for wishing him a happy birthday.
During the forum, Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni said Uhuru’s legacy projects among them Express Highway, and Standard Gauge Railway, and his love for national unity and lowering the cost of living had seen many reflect on his leadership.
“He is being remembered because of his legacy projects and initiatives that are pro-people unlike this government whose policies are punitive to the people,” Kioni said.
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At Kameme FM, a Kikuyu vernacular radio station, Uhuru was also called on the phone by the host where he said he was in good health and of good cheer as he turned a year older.
“Let us continue maintaining peace and praying for our country which will also turn 60 years soon,” the former President said even as he requested ‘I Got You Babe’ by UB40.
Social media platforms were abuzz with birthday wishes to the retired President with some users reflecting on his usual entry remarks ‘My fellow Kenyans’ whenever he addressed the nation with many claiming he will remain to be missed by many.
Among those who wished Uhuru a happy birthday included Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale who wrote in his X account “Hope you’re enjoying life in retirement. Although we went different ways during your presidency. Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei sarcastically wished Uhuru a happy birthday and claimed that under his tenure he weaponised the criminal justice system to fight his political wars.
While leaders who were Uhuru’s allies felt the celebrations were a testament to how Kenyans were disillusioned by the Kenya Kwanza administration, others felt the celebrations were sponsored and stage-managed to drive a narrative.