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Celebrations Committee cancels planned screen shows, citing covid-19

National Celebrations Committee (NCC) has canceled arrangements to mount screens at strategic spots for the public to watch Tuesday’s Madaraka Day celebration proceedings in Kisumu, citing a surge in Covid-19 cases in the County.

Beautification taking place in Kisumu City ahead of Madaraka Day celebrations. Main roads and roundabouts within the CBD have been decorated. Photo by Robert Ojwang’

Initial plans had identified three venues including the Kirembe grounds, Moi stadium and Molem grounds in the city where larger screens were to be mounted for over 28,000 residents to follow the event.

The celebrations will be held at the newly built Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Mamboleo with only 3,000 guests allowed at the main venue in conformity with Covi-19 containment protocols.

Mr Moffat Kangi, the Principal Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination talking at the National Celebrations Committee’s meeting at the hosting county barred the public from crowding at certain joints, but urged locals to follow the event on radios and televisions at their homes.

A raft of measures have been put in place at the lakeside city as preparations for this week’s national event take center stage.

The County Government of Kisumu in collaboration with Waterbus services that operate boats on Lake Victoria have also at the last minute canceled the much-anticipated free boat rides for the residents that were slated for Madaraka Day.

“After deliberation with MOH and the County Government over rising cases of Covid-19 in Kisumu, the waterbus event is hereby postponed to a later date,” the waterbus management declared on Friday.

The new Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu County set to host this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations. Photo by Robert Ojwang’

They offer ferry and boat services on Luanda-Kotieno to Mbita and Mbita to Mfangano through Takawiri routes.

During the routine inspection of the world-class stadium by Sports Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amb. Amina Mohammed, also revealed, Wednesday, that due to Covid-19 restrictions, the highly anticipated friendly match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards to officially open the stadium will not be played.

“It will not be fair for the two teams to play their first match in the new stadium without fans from Kisumu County, this facility is meant for Kisumu residents and counties around,” said the CS.

Besides, the County has done a robust facelift and beautification of the city ahead of the great day.

President Uhuru Kenyatta landed in the region yesterday, Sunday, and is expected to grace the Madaraka Day celebrations alongside his Burindian counterpart, Evariste Ndayishimiye, and launch several national government projects together with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Other government officials and visitors from the neighboring counties have also been invited to attend.

By Robert Ojwang’

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