During the Madaraka Day celebrations, the political feud between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto was once again on show.
After the military display and popular entertainment, President Kenyatta took over the festivities to commemorate Kenya’s 59th year of independence.
Following the entertainment, President Kenyatta presided over the official investiture, during which a select group of Kenyans were presented with many State honors.
As his presidential lectern was carried to the dais after the state investitures, President Kenyatta requested his assistant for his speech.
The Head of State then assumed command of the proceedings, first acknowledging the invited guests and then inviting Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio.
This was a departure from convention, which calls for a speech by a chosen group of Kenyan leaders, both government and political.
When high-level visitors are asked to speak, the Deputy President normally serves as the de facto Master of Ceremony, handing over to the President in the event of an invited head of state.
But that was not the case this time round, the President invited Mr. Bio and after his short speech, Mr. Kenyatta went straight to his speech locking out anybody who may have been preparing to talk.
It was not immediately clear as to why the President took this drastic move but it is not lost on many that it was more political than anything else.
Earlier in the morning the president held a small ceremony at State House with members of the cabinet and it is unclear whether the Deputy President was present.
Ruto’s Spokesman Emmanuel Talam confirmed that Mr. Ruto was not invited to State House Madaraka day celebration
The small event, which was held ahead of the main one at the Uhuru Gardens, saw all the Cabinet Secretaries, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and senior staff at Statehouse in attendance.
Talam said that was the reason why DP Ruto headed to the main event earlier than other government officials.
“He wasn’t invited to the State House event,” Talam told the Daily Nation.
In his brief speech during the event, President Kenyatta lauded the Cabinet Secretaries for an exemplary job they have executed while serving with him.
He exuded confidence that in his 10-year tenure, he has laid the right cornerstone to a greater nation.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you, we have worked well together,” President Kenyatta told the Cabinet Secretaries.
“It was a joy and an honor to have you among us, and I am certain that we have set a solid foundation for those who will follow us in building a bigger and better Kenya. Kenya, may God bless you.”