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Kenya marks 59 years of self-rule

Traditional dancers perform before the presidential dias at the Uhuru Gardens where Kenya's President, Uhuru Kenyatta (unseen) attended commemorations of Madaraka (self-rule).   -  
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TONY KARUMBA/AFP or licensors


Kenya celebrated Wednesday 59 years of self-rule. Thousands had gathered at the Uhuru Gardens of Nairobi to mark Madaraka Day.

It is before a large crowd, dignitaries such as the first couple of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the diplomatic corps, VP William Ruto and politician Raila Odinga that the President addressed the nation.

"Madaraka Day is significant in our history because it is on this day in June 1963 that our founding fathers of our nation replaced the outgoing colonial government and formed the first indigenous government of Kenya"

If Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the Kenya Defense Force parade in Nairobi, celebrations resumed this year in all counties.

For his last ceremony in office, Kenyatta invited his people to consider "stability" when voting for the next election.

"These forthcoming elections, general elections, on the 9th of August 2022 is to choose peace and stability over fear, hope over hate, and progress over retrogression."

President Kenyatta can no longer stand for re-election but his deputy Ruto and his now ally Odinga are just two among a record number of aspiring candidates.

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