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‘Achana naye aende’: What was happening during Uhuru's Madaraka Day speech?

NATIONAL
By Brian Okoth | June 1st 2021

President Uhuru Kenyatta making his Madaraka Day speech on June 1, 2021. [Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta had to interrupt his Madaraka Day speech to order his security guards not to rough up a young man who had attempted to catch his attention.

The man had scaled a security barrier at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu, and was running towards the podium where the President was making his address a few minutes to 2pm.

However, before he could get far, security officers cornered and whisked him away.

The youthful man was cornered by the President's security and whisked away. 

The man was protesting being stopped.

As the presidential security manhandled him,  the president asked the officers to let the man go.

The security men had seized them and were carrying him towards the exit.

Achana naye aende (Let him walk out, [don’t rough him up],” ordered Kenyatta, who was in the middle of his formal speech.

The breaching of presidential security is becoming something of a trend.

It remains unclear why the man was seeking the President's attention.

On May 20, a man identified as James Kinyua Wamuchomba was arrested after trying to force his way to President Kenyatta while making his speech during the official opening of Lamu Port.

Armed with his National Identification card, Kinyua wanted to express his complaints about the lack of jobs at the new port.

The man told police that he was intent on registering his frustrations over the allocation or lack thereof of jobs to locals with the President himself.

The unidentified man scaled the security barrier and ran towards the VIP podium.

President Kenyatta launched the new port at an event that experienced tight security over various threats including terrorism and local protests.

Kinyua was among those invited and managed to bypass security agents but was blocked when he was just a few feet away from Uhuru. He was grabbed as he shouted at the President.

Lucky Summer incident

Last Wednesday, a 30-year-old man from Nairobi, Kepha Nyambane, caused a stir in Lucky Summer when he sprang onto the road and temporarily blocked President Uhuru Kenyatta’s motorcade.

The President was on his way to preside over the official launch of ultra-modern Neema slaughterhouse in Lucky Summer.

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, catching Kenyatta’s security detail by surprise.

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 man, 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 the unidentified man to the roadside.

Police and the Government spokesperson, Cyrus Oguna, would later claim that the President’s security had not been breached, and that Nyambane’s action was triggered by excitement.

“The individual is a citizen who was only excited to see the motorcade of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta. We wish to allay any fears that the President’s security was under threat,” said Oguna on May 26.

Additional reporting by Harold Odhiambo and William Lusige

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