2017 Jamhuri Day: Surprise, displeasure and disdain are few of the terms that can be used to best describe Kenyans’ reaction on learning that Githeri Man, Robert Alai and Dennis Itumbi are some of those in line to receive the erstwhile prestigious honour.
Githeri Man, real names Martin Kamotho, shot to fame when a photo of him eating githeri as he queued to vote went viral. This was during the 8th August 2017 elections. Several brands leapt on his newfound fame and rewarded him variously.
Controversial blogger Robert Alai is also set to receive the award. Alai used to be a fierce critic of the government, getting arrested severally for his scathing attacks. He has changed tact and can often be seen as a guest in state functions.
Dennis Itumbi is pro-government blogger in charge of the government’s digital team. His office is tasked with making sure the government is glossy on social media.
Other controversial names on the list include Jubilee blogger Pauline Njoroge, Ben Githae (he composed the Jubilee ‘Tano Tena’ campaign song), and journalist Jackie Maribe.
Here are a few Kenyans’on Twitter’s reactions:
Can you imagine trying to explain to a 4 year old what HSC means and what is outstanding public service? The jokes that Kenya has become…… https://t.co/fgkNeUoTTD
— Codi (@codida) December 12, 2017
How is Githeri man awarded HSC and Obiri and Kipyegon not on that list when they made Kenya proud for breaking world records. Am miffed!!
— selena israel (@selenaisrael77) December 12, 2017
— Charles Wafula (@WafulaCharles) December 12, 2017
We might as well do our own commendations. Come across any ordinary Kenyans doing extraordinary things this year? ??
— Ory Okolloh Mwangi (@kenyanpundit) December 12, 2017
Is Hon. Wario Ali the same Wario that is CS of Culture and the Sports? Yaani he's getting the highest national honours a year after the Rio Olympics fiasco?
— Nanjala Nyabola (@Nanjala1) December 12, 2017
The Head of State Commendation is award is an honourable award bestowed on Kenyan civilians who have shown exemplary service to nation. These include those who have excelled in sports, research, academia and philanthropy.
Other recipients of Presidential awards during this Jamhuri Day include Ken Lusaka and Kipchumba Murkomen who will receive the Golden Heart award.
SRC’s Sarah Serem, Education PS George Magoha, former IEBC chairman Isaak Hassan get the award of the burning spear.