Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has announced a farewell parade to honour President Uhuru Kenyatta as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, scheduled for Friday, September 9.
According to KDF spokesperson Esther Wanjiku, the farewell ceremony will be staged at the Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang’ata, Nairobi County.
Another ceremony to honour Uhuru will also take place at the Department of Defense – DoD in Hurlingham.
“It is in line with the military traditions and custom to hold a farewell ceremony for the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Forces,” the notice read in part.
President Uhuru Kenyatta inspecting military equipment
PSCU During the choreographed occasion, Uhuru will be ferried to Ulinzi Sports Complex by military helicopters with all troops drawn from Kenya Navy, Kenya Air Force, the army and paramilitary General Service Unit.
Upon landing at the complex, Uhuru will be ushered into the ceremonial military Land Rover. He is expected to be flanked by Defense Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and the Chief of the Defense Forces Dr Robert Kibochi.
After that, Uhuru will address the country, outlining the achievements and praising the military for its outstanding performance in safeguarding the country’s territories during his ten years tenure.
The farewell will be completed with the head of state inspecting the Guard of honour.
The tradition is not new in the country. In March 2013, the late President Mwai Kibaki held a three hours farewell parade. Kibaki picked Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi, as the venue for the ceremony.
In his farewell speech, Kibaki asked the military to support Uhuru’s administration.
When the late President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi was retiring in December 2002, he held a similar event at the Lang’ata Barracks.
Uhuru will get another chance to inspect the Guard of Honour on Tuesday, September 13, during the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect William Ruto.
After handing over the instruments of power, KDF will remove his official flag, hand it over to him, and then hoist a new flag marking the transition of power.
Uhuru already stated that he will hand over power to Uhuru but maintained that Azimio Presidential candidate Raila Odinga is his rightful leader.
“I will hand over power smiling because it’s my Constitutional duty but my leader is Baba, Raila Odinga,” he stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County during Madaraka Day celebrations on October 20, 2021.