His Excellency the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta hands over the 17th Battalion Kenya Rifles Presidential Colour to Colour Officer Lieutenant Hassan Dabaso during the Jamhuri day cerebrations on 12th December 2018, at Nyayo Stadium Nairobi.
His Excellency the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, presented the Presidential and Regimental Colours to the 17th Battalion Kenya Rifles (17KR) in this year’s Jamhuri Day Celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.
Usually on other Jamhuri Day celebrations, the military session comprises inspection of the parade by the Commander in Chief, trooping of the colour, and the Kenya Air Force aircrafts fly past. However, today’s parade was longer as the 17th Battalion Kenya Rifles (17KR), a relatively young Infantry Unit of the Kenya Army, witnessed the consecration of their colours and then received them formally from the President. They then paraded the colours before the Commander-In-Chief.
Upon arrival at the Stadium, the President inspected the parade mounted by the Kenya Defence Forces, which included troops from the 17th Battalion Kenya Rifles, Kenya Air Force and Kenya Navy. The colours were then brought and laid on drums in a cross formation at the presentation area, surrounded by the parade in box formation. The religious leaders led by Anglican Church of Kenya Archibishop Jackson Ole Sapit consecrated the colours and then the President presented them to the 17th Kenya Rifles.
Speaking at the function, President Uhuru Kenyatta underscored the importance of unity among all Kenyans regardless of their origin, as it was the only way to honour those who had in the past fought, and those who were fighting tirelessly to ensure that the country remained stable.
“We are independent but we must remember that our nation has new enemies and our freedom faces new threats. We have men and women in uniform today who are standing in harm’s way away from home to safeguard our liberties. We salute those who have fallen in the line of duty; we honour their sacrifice; and we thank them and their families from the bottom of our hearts,” he said.
President Kenyatta also urged Kenyans to support security organs to ensure that the country was free from terrorist attacks. He described national security as a key enabler to the Big Four Agenda, and praised security organs for the work they had done in thwarting many attacks on the people.
“An ever larger group of Kenyan citizens is standing up to prevent and reverse radicalisation. Through our diplomacy and our military, as part of the African Union force, we will continue to support the stabilisation of Somalia. I wish to call upon all Kenyans to remain vigilant,” said the President.
He also highlighted Kenya’s commitment in support of the resolution of conflicts and peace building in the region, particularly in South Sudan.
The event was attended by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries, Chief of Defence Forces, KDF Service Commanders and ambassadors, senior government officials, dignitaries among other guests.
The President hands over the 17th Battalion Kenya Rifles Regimental Colour to Colour Officer Lieutenant Immanuel Cheruiyot.
A contingent of Kenya Defence Forces personnel mount the parade awaiting inspection by the Commander-in-Chief.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe salute as the National Anthem plays.
The 17th Battalion Kenya Rifles Presidential and Regimental Colours placed in cross formation awaiting presentation to the unit.
Military clergy consecrate the Colours.
The two Colours are displayed to the President as they are trooped around the stadium.