The Kenyatta Family will today hold a memorial service commemorating the 41st anniversary of the passing of family patriarch at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi.
The nation’s founding father died in office in 1978. Mzee died in his sleep while on a working holiday in Mombasa.
41 years after his death, Mzee Kenyatta’s legacy and influence hangs heavily over the country’s political, economic and social life.
The recent inclusion of his statue at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in the country’s new-look currency is an example of how his influence remains on the country.
His son, President Uhuru Kenyatta, is expected to lead family members in laying a wreath at the Jomo Kenyatta mausoleum located next to Parliament buildings in Nairobi.
He is then expected to proceed to the Holy Family Basilica for a memorial service.
The president’s mother Mama Ngina is also expected to be in attendance, in addition to other family members.
Among the notable government and political leaders also expected to grace the occasion is Deputy President William Ruto.
Mzee Kenyatta, an anticolonial activist and politician, is remembered for his leading role in the struggle for Kenya’s independence.
He wrote articles and books on the need for Kenya’s African majority to govern itself.
After being jailed on trumped up charges of leading the Mau Mau movement, he later rose to power as the country’s first Prime Minister on June 1, 1963 before ascending to presidency on December 12,1964.
Mzee Kenyatta was to remain in power until his death on August 22, 1978.
MOI SWORN IN
Upon his death, Vice President Daniel Arap Moi was sworn in as president by Chief Justice James Wicks at State House, Nairobi.
Mr Moi was later to rule the country until 2002.
As he left office, President Moi nominated Jomo’s son Uhuru Kenya to carry the independence party Kenya African National Union’s (Kanu) flag in the 2002 election.
Uhuru’s maiden bid was unsuccessful as the opposition candidate, bolstered by support from Raila Odinga and a wave of pro-change euphoria among the voters, comfortably rode to victory in the election. Mr Mai Kibaki won the elections.