Kenya Celebrates Heroes Day Amid Political Crisis
Kenya is celebrating Heroes Day, a public holiday that honours the country’s freedom fighters. But the occasion is being overshadowed by the political crisis currently gripping the country. Originally it was the “Kenyatta Day”, the day that recalled the date of birth of Jomo, first independent President of Kenya, October 20,1889. Since 2010, after the drafting of the new constitution, the National Day has also been dedicated to the other heroes who took part in the liberation of the country from the British colonial government, from 1952 to 1963.
Never before like this year is this anniversary symbolic, not only because it takes place six days after the new elections (which we do not yet know in what form and in what climate they will be held), but also because a celebration that is a symbol of national unity and reconciliation is celebrated in an atmosphere of division and splitting into two of the country.
The road to democracy in this country has never been so wide and visible, but at the same time full of pitfalls.
All the members of a free nation, from parliament to the judiciary, from the judges of the Supreme Court to an electoral commission, from lawyers to the private sectors, even to the Governors of the Counties who, with federalism, have added institutions to the institutions, if they do not contribute to the good of Kenya, can only create anarchy and problems.
This was certainly not the vision of the “Kapenguria Six”, namely Kenyatta and five other activists Bildad Kaggia, Kung’ u Karumba, Fred Kubai, Paul Ngei, and Achieng Oneko, who were arrested by the British governor on 20 October 1952, accused of being the minds of the Mau Mau resistance organization.
The people’s rebellion following the arrest triggered the Kenyan people’s independence spring.
The Mashujaa Day is generally celebrated with an event at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi. A military parade takes place with troops wearing colorful uniforms reminiscent of red, black and green on the Kenyan flag.
Only today will it be known whether President Kenyatta will have set up a different ceremony than usual, or take the opportunity to speak to the nation as President.
Source: Al Jazeera