In Pictures: President William Ruto's first Madaraka Day

President William Ruto and Chief of Defence Forces Major General Ogolla inspect the guard of honour mounted by the Kenya Armed Forces. [Samson Wire, Standard]

President William Ruto is leading the country in marking the 60th Madaraka Day celebrations at Moi Stadium in Embu.

Kenyans from all walks of life started thronging at the 20,000-capacity stadium as early as 5 am.

Top Military officials wait for President William Ruto to arrive at Moi Stadium in Embu. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Security was heightened both outside and inside the stadium with those seeking access being taken through tight security checks.

Comoros President and African Union Chairperson Azali Assoumani and former Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou are among the dignitaries attending the ceremony.

Right foot forward. Ruto and CDF inspect the guard of honour.

Others are Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and his spouse Tessy Musalia, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and spouse Dorcus Rigathi, speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetangula and his Senate counterpart Amason Kingi.

The band ready for entertainment.

Defence CS Aden Duale, his interior counterpart Kindiki Kithure are among CSs, PSs and CAs in attendance.

President Ruto arrives at Moi Stadium in Embu. [Murithi Mugo, Standard]

Although today’s ceremony marks the 60th year since Kenya attained her independence, it is the first Madaraka day to be presided over by Ruto as the President and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces.

Unlike last year when he was denied a chance to address the nation owing to the bad blood with former President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ruto is today expected to take advantage and address Kenyans amid opposition to his proposed taxes that many have termed oppressive and punitive.

Many also expect that Ruto will take advantage to highlight his plan to lower the cost of living and measures to address challenges within the health sector.

Kenya Army.
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Photos by Samson Wire and Murith Mugo, Standard