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What Uhuru told me, man who blocked President’s convoy reveals

Kepher Nyambane with his wife Lydia Bosibori at their Lucky Summer home during an interview with The Standard on Thursday, May 27. [Standard]

When 30-year-old Kepher Nyambane sprang onto the road to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta’s motorcade in Lucky Summer, Nairobi on Wednesday, he had one agenda in mind: to tell Kenyatta that he was broke.

“I have three children, whom I’m unable to comfortably fend for,” Nyambane, a native of Kisii County, told The Standard on Thursday, May 27 at his Lucky Summer home.

“As a result, my sister took in one of my children. The other one, who was recently sent home for school fees, has reported back to school after her head-teacher watched me attempting to catch the President’s attention due to frustration,” added Nyambane, who spoke to The Standard alongside his wife, Lydia Bosibori.

The tricenarian said he hadn’t planned to sprint onto the road to interrupt the President’s journey.

“It just happened. When I woke up yesterday (Wednesday), I did not even know that the President was going to tour Lucky Summer,” he said, adding: “However, for the longest time, I have dreamt of meeting the President and inform him of my financial tribulations.”

Nyambane said word went round the estate Wednesday mid-morning that Kenyatta was going to drive past Lucky Summer on his way to Neema Slaughterhouse, where he was to open the facility.

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“That’s when I thought: ‘maybe, today is the day I’d meet him’,” he said.

Nyambane, thereafter, went to the road linking the main route and Neema to wait for the Head of State’s convoy.

“When I saw his outriders, I got happy. I knew I was going to catch his attention by all means,” he said, adding: “I did not fear being run over by his cars.”

When the President’s official vehicle was about to drive past the location, Nyambane actualised his plan: jumped on the road, at the “right time”.

“I heard him (Kenyatta) telling his bodyguards: ‘achana na huyo kijana [leave that young man alone]’. He, thereafter, addressed me, saying: ‘tutaongea, tutaongea [we shall speak some other time] before rolling up his car window’,” said the father-of-three.

Nyambane says despite his goal suffering a blow, he still hopes to speak with the President someday.

President Kenyatta was on his way to preside over the official launch of ultra-modern Neema Slaughterhouse in Lucky Summer, when Nyambane’s action caught his bodyguards flat-footed.

While en route, Nyambane, who was on the roadside waving as Kenyatta’s outriders zoomed past him, gathered an anomalous courage and sprang onto the road, right when the Head of State’s vehicle was about to move past that location.

Armed with abnormal confidence, the man waved down the President’s official car, a Toyota Land Cruiser V8.

With no other route left for him, the President’s driver stopped.

However, before Nyambane could deliver his message to Kenyatta, a bodyguard, who was in one of the chase cars, a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, bolted out of the vehicle, charged at the 30-year-old, grabbed him by the neck and pushed him out of the road.

A uniformed police officer at the scene, thereafter, took control of the situation, restricting Nyambane to the roadside.

The 1-minute-and-51-second video ended by showing the President’s complete motorcade zooming past a few onlookers, who were screaming in excitement.

The video-taped incident, expectedly, found its way to micro-blogging site, Twitter, where a section of users called out police and the President’s security detail for laxity.

A Twitter user, who goes by the name Wanjiku Revolution, remarked: “This security is lax! What if that guy had a suicide vest!” The post was retweeted at least 80 times in one hour.

Speaking to The Standard about that incident, Nairobi County Regional Commander, Augustine Nthumbi, said the unarmed Nyambane was “only excited” to see the President’s convoy.

“What the man did does not conclusively amount to breach of the President’s security,” said Nthumbi.

“He was only excited, and wanted to catch the President’s attention. Unfortunately, he chose a wrong method to catch the President’s eye. His action led to temporary disruption of the procession. The President’s bodyguards and our officers, however, managed to rein him in. For now, I can say there is no police or legal action that we’ll take against the man,” added the city police boss.

“To avert such an occurrence in the future, we, in the senior management of the police service, will be asking leaders to sensitise their constituents ahead of visits by VVIPs such as the President. We’ll also ask police officers deployed to areas where the President is visiting to be more vigilant,” said Nthumbi.

The Nairobi police boss’s remarks were reiterated by Government Spokesperson, Cyrus Oguna, who on Wednesday evening said Nyambane’s actions were “triggered by excitement”.

President Kenyatta on Wednesday, May 26 launched the ultra-modern Neema abattoir.

The facility is owned by the Kenya Livestock Farmers, and has an installed daily slaughter capacity of 12,000 and 6,000 small stock (goats/sheep).

The meat is processed for local and export markets.

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