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Low turnout as Willaim Ruto presides over first national ceremony as president

Low turnout at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi during Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20, 202. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Today Kenya's fifth President William Ruto will preside over Mashujaa Day celebrations at the newly refurbished Uhuru Gardens. This is his first national event since he was sworn in on September 13.

By 11am there was a low turnout as Kenyans prepared to watch the celebrations that are being broadcast live on TV. 

Photos show empty white plastic seats spread out in the venue. Some attendees have piled several seats on top of each other. 

It is not clear why attendance is low this year compared to previous national events, although a biting economy could be attributed to the poor turnout. 

Some of the unoccupied seats at Uhuru Gardens. [Dennish Ochieng, Standard]

Last year's Mashujaa Day fete was held at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta (now retired).

Nyayo Stadium can accommodate up to 45,000 people.

Uhuru Gardens was previously used on December 12, 2021 during Jamhuri Day celebrations.

Some 11,000 people attended the function.