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Show of might as VIPs bring Kisumu to a halt

NATIONAL
By Mactilda Mbenywe | June 2nd 2021

Deputy President William Ruto with ODM leader Raila Odinga and Chief Administrative Secretary Ken Obura at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium Kisumu during Madraka day celebrations on June 1, 2021.[Collins Oduor, Standard]

Sirens and sounds of fuel guzzlers stole the show on the streets of Kisumu as VVIPs and VIPs descended on the city during the 58th Madaraka Day.

For the last two weeks, top hotels in the city were full as top government officials, diplomats, business executives, private sector players and parastatal chiefs descended on the city.

Security was beefed up in the lakeside city, with independent estimates being placed at more than 700 police officers. Luxury cars were at hand to receive guests at Kisumu International Airport that was a hive of activity with VIPs being chauffeured complete with chase cars and outriders.

The high point of show of government might came guests including Burundi President Évariste Ndayishimiye and Uhuru Kenyatta’s convoy cruised from the Kisumu State Lodge to Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium shoving off onlookers at Kondele who wanted the leaders to address them.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, her Burundi counterpart Angeline Ndayubaha and South Africa Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu were also given VIP treatment.

At the stadium, many were locked out of the event due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Among the guests present included One Kenya Alliance leaders Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Others were Chief of General Staff Robert Kibochi, Chief Justice Martha Koome, Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly), Kenneth Lusaka (Senate), governors, MPs and Senators.

All roads were closed to allow the Head of State’s entourage easy passage during Madaraka’s D-Day.

Matatus and other vehicles getting in and out of Kisumu had to stop to give way for the Head of State motorcade and those found on the wrong punished.

Businesses were forced to close as some residents gathered on roadside to take a glimpse of the delegations. At the end, Kisumu staged a show-stopping entertainment with fun-fare from different artistes who belted out talented exhibitions in tow. Their artistry forced dignitaries out of their seats in appreciation.

The icing on the cake was put on by the Burundi traditional troupe that accompanied their visiting president. Their big drums were a rare show only comparable to Kochia dancers whose attire and gyration left the audience cheering on.

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