All roads will lead to Machakos on Thursday where President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead Kenyans in celebrating Mashujaa Day, in a major departure from holding national celebrations in Nairobi.
The celebrations in the county rekindle the pride of a people with a rich history. Machakos was the first capital of the colonial administration before the railway line reached Nairobi, making the British to shift base.
Both Jubilee Party and Opposition leaders including Wiper Democratic Party boss Kalonzo Musyoka are expected to attend the event, according to a communication seen by the Nation.
“Our party leader Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka will join other Kenyans in celebrating Mashujaa Day at Masaku. Being one of Kenya’s heroes who has international recognition, it is a befitting honour to be in attendance, “read the communication sent to a party member.
Mr Musyoka’s PA, Denis Kavisu confirmed that the Wiper leader will attend the event.
On Wednesday, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua said the county was ready to host the celebrations.
“We are set and ready to host the first Mashujaa Day event outside the capital Nairobi. I take this opportunity to invite all to join us as we celebrate our heroes,” he said. The governor unveiled a statue of freedom hero Muindi Mbingu outside the gate of Kenyatta Stadium.
Muindi Mbingu, who hailed from Machakos, is celebrated for leading a protest to Nairobi against the colonial government’s forced de-stocking in which the Akamba lost thousands of cattle, which were slaughtered at the Athi River Liebigs meat factory (now Kenya Meat Commission).
Muindi Mbingu Street in Nairobi is named after him.
Statues of Paul Ngei, one of the Kapenguria Six, and renowned Kamba leader Mulu Mutisya have also been erected.
“Recognition of our heroes is a sign of maturity and development. We are here because of the sacrifices that our heroes like Muindi Mbingu and others made,” said Dr Mutua.
He added that leaders who were saying the Kamba community has been despised should have honoured their heroes by erecting statues at home for others to recognise them.
On Tuesday, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho outlined the programme for the day.
Dr Kibicho, who was accompanied by the security team in Machakos, said the gates of the stadium would be opened by 5.30am and all guests should be seated by 8.30am.
He also announced designated parking places for visitors and various diversions of routes to the event in order to control traffic flow.