President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya marked half a century in politics of Friday (October 20) with a speech lashing those who poured scorn on Black African aspirations to self rule.
President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya marked half a century in politics of Friday (October 20) with a speech lashing those who poured scorn on Black African aspirations to self rule. Mr Kenyatta, now in his 80's, addressed several thousand people in Nairobi, after a military parade and flypast held to mark "Kenyatta Day" -- the anniversary of his arrest exactly 20 years ago by the British colonial rulers of Kenya.
Since independence from Britain in 1963, the Kenyans have regularly celebrated the anniversary of his arrest on charges of managing the Mau Mau insurrection. Britain freed Mr Kenyatta, after nearly nine years in jail and detention, in 1961. Known as "Mzee (grand old man)" to his people, President Kenyatta has become one of Africa's most widely-respected elder statesman.
During Friday's parade, reviewed by the President, armoured cars, mortars and anti-tank weapons were rolled past and four British-built Strikemaster jets staged a flypast.
SYNOPSIS: Crowds lined the streets of Nairobi on Friday as President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya arrived from his country lodge at Gatundu for celebrations marking "Kenyatta Day".
The occasion marks the anniversary of President Kenyatta's arrest exactly twenty years ago by the British colonial rulers of Kenya. They charged him with managing the Mau Mau insurrection and he spent nearly a decade in prison and subsequent detention. President Kenyatta, now in his eighties, has become one of Africa's most widely-respected elder statesman. He helped to found the forty-one nation Organisation of African Unity, the O.A.U.
President Kenyatta became Kenya's first Prime Minister at independence in 1963, and the country's first President when it became a Republic within the British Commonwealth a year later. Known as "Mzee", grand old man, to his people, he is the undisputed leader of his twelve million fellow countryman. Taking the salute, President Kenyatta watched Kenyan troops in Friday's march-past.
The parade included a drive-past of mechanised units drawn from the armed services and civilian organisations. Armoured cars, mortars and anti-tank weapons were included in the display staged by the Kenyan Army and Police Force.
The Kenyan Air Force and Navy were also represented in the drive-past. Later, four British-built Strikemaster jets flew low overhead in a special exhibition.
The parade ended with a procession of traditional dancers. In a later speech, President Kenyatta spoke strongly to declare: "Those who ask scornfully what has been gained from independence, what has been gained from fighting, what fools they are".