The Madaraka celebrations in Nakuru were marked with some bit of drama as Nakuru Town East decided to keep off from the dais that is usually left aside for dignitaries at the Afraha stadium. Instead David Gikaria who is also commonly known as T.M (Team Manager) out of his love for football and support for local teams, chose to sit at a terrace far away, but directly opposite the dais.
Those who had noticed his quite presence at the terrace during the event kept on whispering as the celebrations were gearing up and by the when they started officially, an ‘official’ call to him to come closer was extended to him but which he quietly refused.
The call had come from Keziah Ngina the County Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chairperson who spoke just after prayers were done.
“I am aware that Gikaria is seated somewhere, tell him to come forward,”
Ngina pleaded with the M.P. amid some cheers from a section of a crowd at the stadium.
The M.P would later reveal to the Kenya Monitor that he decided to keep off the VIP ‘comfort shade’ and instead burn in the scorching sun so as to have a taste of what it means to be on that far receiving end. He even said he would not attend a luncheon that was to be hosted at the Rift Valley Sports Club thereafter.
“People who speak on Madaraka Day have no touch with the day,”
he said in response to political statements that were being made by leaders from the VIP stand.
The M.P also took an issue with a section of entertainers who he felt were on some kind of a praising mode in favor of Kinuthia Mbugua the Nakuru Governor, and his administration.
“Those who entertain have forgotten the themes of Madaraka Day. I expected people to talk about our fore fathers and what they went through and what Madaraka Day means.”
Madaraka Day was first celebrated on June 1, 1963 to signify the day Kenya attained self-rule from the colonial regime. It usually the first among the three national days as set aside in the Constitution in a calendar year, the other two being Mashujaa Day (October 20) and Jamhuri Day (December 12).
Gikaria sought to show how the day is connected to the independence of Kenya calling while stressing the need for freedom fighters to be recognized the more during the celebrations.
“The family of (freedom fighter) Dedan Kimathi is languishing in poverty. We need a law that looks at all independence historical injustices,”
he said while responding on the role that Parliament can play at ensuring that those who played a role in independence are well recognized in the country.
Apparently Gikaria was the only M.P from Nakuru who attended the celebrations which were also attended by the area Senator James Mungai with Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West) sending an apology.
“M.P’s fear getting booed on these occasions,” he said while filling up for the absence of his colleagues.
This he however said was not reason enough for the M.P’s not to attend national holidays.
“Leaders need to be patriotic. We need to join with the locals.”
With the Women Representative Mary Mbugua and two Senators, Mungai and Lisa Chelule (Nominated) Nakuru County has a total of 14 legislators. It also has a total of 74 Members of County Assembly (MCA’s) comprising 55 who are elected and 19 who are nominated, and as if as if reading from the same script with the MP’s, very few of them attended the celebrations including the Speaker Susan Kihika.
This did not amuse both Governor Mbugua and his Deputy Joseph Ruto.
“People come to listen to the speech of the President, but if you stay out there, who will bring them,”
asked Ruto while the governor said every leader had an obligation to attend celebrations to mark national days.
“Citizens can decide not to come but we cannot forgive a leader for not coming,” he said.