Kenya celebrates 50 years of independence

By Joylene Sing'oei

Nairobi, Kenya: Kenya celebrated 50 years of independence in a ceremony that was held at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, Nairobi on Thursday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta graced the occassion that was attended by leaders from Africa and beyond.

Deputy President William Ruto was also at the stadium.

The heads of states present were: Democratic Republic of Congo Head of State Joseph Kabila, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his first lady, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Gabon’s president  Ali Bongo.

Also in attendance were President Ian Khama (Botswana), President Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria), Joyce Banda (Malawi) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Others included former President Mwai Kibaki, Former first lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The visiting dignitaries joined an estimated 60, 000 people at the stadium. Millions of Kenyans are also following the proceedings at the stadium from home through live radio and television broadcasts.

On Thursday night, President Uhuru graced the hoisting of the Kenyan flag at Uhuru gardens, an occasion akin to another one on December 12, 1963, which was presided over by his father, founding President Jomo Kenyatta.

Uhuru planted a tree close to another one that was planted by the founding President at independence 50 years ago.