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Kisumu readies for Madaraka Day celebrations- Photos

By Harold Odhiambo | June 1st 2021

Members of the public line up at a police checkpoint at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium for Madaraka Day celebrations. [Kevine Omollo, Standard]

Hundreds of residents have already turned up at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu as hawk-eyed security officers begin screening attendees, ahead of the Madaraka Day celebrations.

A number of residents had lined up at the venue as early as 6 am Tuesday. Some told The Standard that they opted to arrive early for fear of being locked out.

Joseph Otieno, who is among the 3,000 guests expected to attend the event said that he woke up at 3 am to prepare for the event.

"Accessing the venue may be a problem because of the strict Covid-19 protocols being enforced,” he said.

Public settles down at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium ahead of the commencement of Madaraka Day celebrations. [Kevine Omollo, Standard]

Inside the venue, officials from the armed forces were conducting last rehearsals ahead of the ceremony.

President Uhuru Kenyatta who will preside over the event is expected to arrive at 10 am.

Burundi President Évariste Ndayishimiye who signed a trade pact with Kenya is the Chief guest in the fete to mark Kenya's attainment of internal self-rule.

Other leaders expected at the event include; Deputy President William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, top government officials, regional and international partners.

South Africa Water Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is also in the lakeside city for the event.

Yesterday, authorities were rushing against time to ensure that everything is in place as security agencies moved to beef up security in the town.

Strict Covid-19 protocols will be enforced at the venue with only invited guests expected to attend. 

A police officer patrols at the Stadium hosting this year's Madaraka day celebrations. [Harold Odhiambo, Standard]

According to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, the program is expected to run until 12:30 pm. The PS urged residents to follow the event from the comfort of their homes.

By yesterday, several visitors had trooped to the lakeside city with all major hotels booked to capacity. At  Acacia Hotel, the parking was full of high-end cars Several senior government officials had pitched tent at the facility.

Kisumu County government officials in collaboration with firefighters cleaned several streets in preparation.

And with Covid-19 hitting alarming levels, questions remain on how law enforcement officers will control the crowds that have been eagerly waiting to mark this day.

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