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Mombasa ready for Mashujaa Day celebrations

Sunday October 20 2019

Mashujaa Day celebrations

Dancers rehearse for the Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Mama Ngina Waterfront park in Mombasa on October 19, 2019. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANTHONY KITIMO
By ANTHONY KITIMO
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 BRIAN WACHIRA
By BRIAN WACHIRA
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Kenyans will for the first time since independence witness military ocean parade conducted by the Kenya Navy in a historical day to celebrate and remember heroes and heroines.

The event will take place at the revamped Sh460 million Mama Ngina Waterfront.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will preside over the event will open the park named after his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta.

SECURITY

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said on Saturday gates at the park would open as early as 5am and they expect thousands of residents from the nearby counties such as Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu and Taita-Taveta to attend.

“All the necessary logistics, including security, entertainments, seating and parking arrangements are in place and we expect to be a historic event where more than 50,000 people are expected to attend,” said the PS.

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Kenya Navy personnel parade when Tourism
Kenya Navy personnel parade when Tourism minister Najib Balala toured the park on September 27 to check on preparations for Mashujaa Day. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Kibicho said more than 200 heroes and heroines would be feted.

Suhufi Agency Limited workers were Saturday mounting special big screens to ensure all those who attend the event follow the proceedings with ease.

Different musicians, schoolchildren and security officers also conducted a final rehearsal for the event and sitting according to protocol.

Mombasa will be the sixth county to host national celebrations after Meru, Nakuru, Machakos, Kakamega and Narok.

DIGNITARIES

Government officials, leaders including former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and other dignitaries are expected at the event, which President Uhuru Kenyatta will preside over.

Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, who is expected for recognition at the event, also arrived in Mombasa yesterday under tight security.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and other sports officials accompanied the 34-year-old marathoner.

Last weekend, he became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours after clocking 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40sec in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna.

The Mama Ngina Waterfront, which has a rich history is expected to promote the coastal city’s history, and culture as well as offer an ideal venue for festivals and other social events.

PAVED PATHWAYS

The revamped recreational park now has two gateways, paved pathways, lush gardens and restaurants, which have replaced the old kiosks.

To some investors and food lovers, it may be an opportunity to turn Mombasa into a hub for the best Swahili snacks and meals on sale.

For those who love Swahili culture will have an opportunity to tour the cultural centre, which has been built within the park and pigeon coops, which have added flavour to the park.

Mama Ngina Drive was known for its large park with benches where one could relax under the trees or alternatively lie on the grass and enjoy the cool breeze from the ocean. The park is a popular Mombasa tourist attraction with hawkers selling all sorts of things such as cassava crips and coconut juice (madafu), among other delicacies.