The Kenya Defence Forces on Friday gave President Uhuru Kenyatta a colourful farewell that was infused with messages of service and patriotism ahead of the retirement of the Head of State on Tuesday.
The President reiterated that a peaceful country is dependent on the unity and patriotism of its citizenry and urged government and security entities to remain united as his term ends on Tuesday next week.
The grand farewell ceremony was organised by the Kenya Defence Forces to appreciate his role in modernising and expanding the military over this 10-year term.
The President, who enjoys a special bond with the military, did not hide his joy in spending the day with soldiers, accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and his two sons.
“Asanteni sana. Mungu awabariki (Thank you. May God bless you). I will miss you, but we are still together,” he told the soldiers, thanking them for their selfless service to the country.The event started with the Head of State conducting a lap of honour in the Ulinzi stadium aboard the official Commander In Chief’s ceremonial vehicle, flanked by his aide and Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi as the Maroon Commandos serenaded him with his favourite music band UB40’s song Cherry oh Baby.
He then inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Army, Navy and Air Force and enjoyed entertainment by defence forces schools, the military and a PUMA helicopter flypast with the banner, Hongera Rais Wetu.
Both he and the First Lady were gifted with 12 mementoes of honour by retired military generals, the Military Wives Association, serving soldiers and the Ministry of Defence.
The gifts included golfing sets, hybrid freshman and Ayrshire cows, goats and lambs.
The President reiterated his appreciation for their support and contribution that has been rendered not just to the security sector but also to national development, especially in the rehabilitation of key infrastructure across the country.
“I ask that you, KDF, remain steadfast and support the incoming administration just like you have supported mine and that of my predecessors. As we depend on God to protect our beloved country, we all look up to you to implement this prayer by defending our territorial integrity and sovereignty and by always being mission-ready.”