Thousands of Kenyans celebrated "Kenyatta Day" throughout the country on Wednesday, to mark the nearly nine years that President Kenyatta spent in jail during Britain's colonial rule there.
Thousands of Kenyans celebrated "Kenyatta Day" throughout the country on Wednesday, to mark the nearly nine years that President Kenyatta spent in jail during Britain's colonial rule there. But the day -- declared a public holiday -- was not to glorify any one man, President Kenyatta told a massive rally in Nairobi's Uhuru (Freedom) Park. It was rather a day of national re-dedication to Kenya's social and economic ideals, he said after watching a march-past by Kenya's military forces and Air Force fly-over. VISNEWS cameraman Mohamid Amin was there, and he send back this film.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of Kenyans celebrated Kenyatta Day on Wednesday by going to Uhuru -- or Freedom -- park to watch a massive military parade. President Jomo Kenyatta, in whose honour the public holiday is held, was also there -- greeted on his arrival by Vice-President Daniel Moi.
Kenyatta Day is held to commemorate the nearly nine years that President Kenyatta spent in jail during Britain's colonial rule there. But the day should not glorify any one person, the President told the crowd following the hour-long parade. It should instead be considered as a day of national rededication to the social and economic ideals of Kenya. President Kenyatta, who led his country to independence in 1963, also said that the day was "a nationwide symbol" of "unyielding demands for human dignity and freedom". Speaking for over half an hour in Swahili and English, he said the whole idea of Kenyatta Day was to keep alive "the ideas and emotions which inspired Kenyans to freedom, and he called for a national productivity drive to this end.
The crowds later cheered when President Kenyatta, in his speech, asked them if they approved of public hanging for violent robbers. A Bill providing for capital punishment for people convicted of robbery with violence was then before Parliament, and due to be passed shortly.