Brief Military Farewell For President Kibaki

1640 Views Nairobi, Kenya

In short
The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has held a brief but colourful ceremony to bid farewell to President Mwai Kibaki who is stepping down after 10 years as Commander-in-Chief (CIC).

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has officially bid farewell to President Mwai Kibaki who is stepping down after 10 years as Commander-in-Chief (CIC).
 
At a brief but colourful ceremony held at the Moi Airbase grounds in Eastleigh, Nairobi, members of the armed forces wished their commander-in-chief well in retirement.
 
General Julius Karangi, the head of the army handed over to the outgoing president a tractor, a ceremonial CIC uniform, a 24 dinner set for Mama Lucy Kibaki, four heifers and a portrait among other items.
 
In his farewell speech, President Kibaki told members of the armed forces that it has been a tremendous honor to serve as Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, adding that he was proud of their achievements. He paid tribute to the soldiers who died in line of duty, saying they paid the ultimate price to defend the country.
 
Kibaki said the Defence Forces have been a beacon of hard work selflessness and devotion, going on to encourage them to maintain a high level of discipline and dedication.
 
The president commended the forces for their peace-keeping role in Somalia and encouraged the incoming government to work closely with African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) and the International Community in reconstructing the state of Somalia. Kenya launched "Operation Linda Nchi" into Somalia in October 2011 to stave off terror attacks by the al shabaab militia. Uganda, Burundi, Sierra Leone are the other countries deployed in Somalia.
 
The farewell party is meant to thank and recognize Kibaki for the role he played in the last 10 years as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Kibaki is expected to step down after the Supreme Court of Kenya pronounces itself on an election petition filed by outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who was one of the eight candidates in the March 4 presidential elections.
 
Uhuru Kenyatta was pronounced winner of the poll with more than 50%, but Odinga, who came second with at least 43% of the votes cast, rejected the results on grounds of alleged election malpractice by both the electoral and boundaries commission and Kenyatta. He petitioned the court to have Kenyatta’s victory overturned.
 
The swearing in ceremony for Kenyatta which had earlier been set for March 26, has been pushed to April 7 to allow the court finalise its work
 
Head of Kenya civil Service Francis Kimemia was quoted in the media as saying a fresh presidential election will be held on May 31 in case the Supreme Court overturns Kenyatta’s win.
 
Article 142 of the constitution gives the incumbent president powers to continue in office until the next president is sworn in.