In an unprecedented move that caught everyone by surprise, President Uhuru Kenyatta left out politicians from state commendations awarded to achievers during the 56th celebrations of Jamhuri Day.
The list of persons who have rendered outstanding service to humanity and the country shrunk from 402 to 12.
Also given a wide berth were judges, journalists and celebrities who have previously dominated such lists. Yesterday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi admitted that there were names that were removed but didn’t give details saying they were still finalising on the same.
Charged in court
“The final list will come out from the printer. There are names that have been removed including staff but not all. Others had errors as they were being enhanced from one level to another,” he said.
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Another senior government official said: “Some of the names in the list could not pass. It was unattainable going by the latest development where some people have been charged in court.”
Another senior parliamentary official whose name was among those dropped, told the Saturday Standard that the list might be updated later.
The list, according to sources, was chopped by removing 17 names submitted by the Council of Governors, Parliament and the Judiciary after the individuals were cleared by the National Intelligence Service.
Among those dropped were two second term governors from Nyanza and Central and a first term governor from Rift Valley. An advisor to a top politician on food matters was also redacted, a number of MPs allied to a top government figure as well as a close ally of a top opposition leader. The latter recently starred at a national event.
The Saturday Standard could not name the affected leaders, although some attributed their woes to the friction in Jubilee Party leadership. “This is the work of State House and Office of the President mandarins. It is wrong to politicise everything. If the nominating institutions settled on us, why punish us to please your master?” posed a vocal MP from Central.
He claimed allies of opposition leader Raila Odinga who were removed from the list were ‘just collateral’ damage.
“The names were submitted after they were cleared by the relevant agencies. It was a long list,” said an official within the presidency.
State House Spokesman Kanze Dena did not pick our calls. This is also the first time, the Head of State’s decoration list was dominated by military officers and Kenyans who have excelled in various fields.
The President awarded visiting Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley with the Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH). The PM who attended the 9th Summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) in Nairobi was the chief guest during the Jamhuri Day fete at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, on Thursday. Attorney General Kihara Kariuki was also awarded with EGH for his distinguished service as the government’s chief legal advisor. In 2018, 11 individuals were decorated in this category - ten governors and ODM chairman John Mbadi (Suba South).
Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai was awarded the Moran of the Order of the Heart (MGH) alongside Lt Gen Walter Raria Koipaton and Maj Gen Francis Omondi Ogolla.
The President also awarded Brother Peter Tabichi Mokaya, the teacher of the year, the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS).
Those who have received the Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (CGH) award were Ugandan Yoweri Museveni, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Royall Highness the Agha Khan IV.
The EGH is awarded to the Deputy President, Speakers of Parliament, Cabinet Secretaries, the First Lady, the wife of the DP, Head of Public Service, governors, parliamentary top leadership and the Kenya Defense Forces chief of Staff among other worthy achievers.
Athlete Eliud Kipchoge was awarded the EGH in October for breaking the Ineos Challenge. The third in the same category is the MGH. Then the Uhodari medal which is awarded to senior judges, senior state and public officers, journalists and athletes. Under this category, the highest is the CBS, Second class is the EBS and the Third is the MBS. National Aids Control Council CEO Nduku Kilonzo was the only one person honoured with the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS).
Maj Gen Ahmed Fatuma Gaiti was also the only person to be awarded with the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS).
The Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) went to star athlete Mary Jepkosgei Keitany, while the Head of State Commendation (HSC) for military division to Jairus Machani Mululia and the civilian division to Ole Nkaka Moiyiaye and Chief Ngandi Daniel Matheka.