According to our Founding Fathers, our flag is not a sentimental piece of fabric decorated in ink.
We must always remember that each time the flag flies, it is NOT blown by the wind. It is blown by the last breath of our liberators as they made their final bow to liberate Kenya.
The Kenyan flag is therefore not just a sentimental piece of fabric decorated in ink.
Aside from the flag, why did our independence heroes choose Uhuru Gardens. As the place to midwife our young Nation?
In the history of our liberation struggle
What was the significance of these grounds in the history of our liberation struggle? And what did they want remembered by generations to come?
On these grounds sat one of the largest concentration camps in colonial Africa. Holding up to 10,000 freedom fighters at any one given time.
Many of our compatriots were tortured and maimed for life in that camp. And many more unknown heroes died in this field.
The horrors of this camp
The horrors of this camp are what inspired our Founding Fathers. When they taught us that ” …the tree of freedom must be watered by the blood of our patriots”.
And that is why on Jamhuri Day in 1964. We planted a mugumo tree standing to my right. As a solemn and symbolic reminder of this eternal truth.
Although the colonizers killed the messengers in this camp. They could not kill the message. The liberation ‘fever’ spread across the Nation.
Why President Kenyatta calls Uhuru gardens hallowed
And the colonizers had no option but to surrender. Why do I call Uhuru Gardens a hallowed ground?
I do so because our Founding Fathers wanted us to celebrate this ground. As a camp of martyrs and the birthplace of a Nation. A place of remembrance, healing and renewal.
Each time we gather at this birthplace of our great nation. We must remember that being free is the easy part.
- The PSC remains the conduit through which money from public coffers is siphoned
- This issue of being legislators and salaried employees at the same time is a dilemma for Kenya
Staying free is the difficult part
But staying free is the difficult part. Although we are now fully free, we cannot continue to claim freedom casually.
Instead, we must begin to practice and jealously guard the it. Against all threats, both foreign and domestic. The practice of freedom comes with a price.
If our heroes paid the price to liberate our nation. We must similarly pay the price of nurturing our freedom.
The price today is not the price tomorrow
But fundamentally, we must remember that the price today is NOT the price tomorrow. The price of liberating the Nation is not the price of growing the Nation.
To keep and nurture our freedom, we have to pay a higher price. And part of this price is to be trustworthy stewards of what our Founding Fathers passed down to us.
My joy today is that My Administration has restored the sanctity and historical significance of Uhuru Gardens.
Following many years of neglect
Following many years of neglect, this historic site had become a den of thieves. In fact, it is on record that the 68 acres. On which these sacred grounds sit had fallen into the hands.
Of some unscrupulous individuals. My Administration had to reclaim the ‘grabbed’ site in 2019 and restore its dignity and purity.
On 31st of May 2022, the President had the distinct honor of inaugurating these grounds as a monument.
Museum of remembrance
And a museum of remembrance; and a place of unedited history. And we have done this because a progressive nation does not hide its history.
It confronts it and endeavors to correct it, so as to change the future. Each time we celebrate our liberation struggle. Tradition demands that we ponder a series of questions.
Fundamentally, we must ask this: how have we built on what was handed down to us? What account can we give of ourselves as the successors of the course of our liberators? And can we honestly say that we have been faithful steward’s worthy of their sacrifice?