Kenya hosted its 60th Mashujaa Day Celebrations today, Friday, October 20, which was graced by the President, William Ruto, and attended by hundreds of other senior government officials. However, the much anticipated Chief Guest for the event, Angolan President, João Lourenço was a no-show.
President João Lourenço landed at JKIA airport, on Thursday, October 19, alongside his First Lady. They were received by Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, who even went on ahead to confirm the guests’ arrival on X.
“Today, I had the honor and privilege of receiving His Excellency João Lourenço, the President of the Republic of Angola, and Her Excellency Ana Dias Lourenço, the First Lady of the Republic of Angola, as they arrived in our country for a two-day state visit. During the visit, H.E. Lourenço will engage in a bilateral meeting with H.E President William Ruto and will also be the Chief Guest at the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kericho County.”Prime Cabinet Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi.
However, barely a day after his arrival, the Chief Guest failed to show up, sending a representative instead. Ambassador Antonio Tete, Angola’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, made a speech on his president’s behalf. Despite conveying President João Lourenço’s apologies, the ambassador gave no concrete reason as to why the Chief Guest missed the event.
“On behalf of President João Lourenço I would first like to convey his apologies. He would have loved to be here but for unforeseen reasons, he couldn’t make it to Kericho. He sends you very warm greetings, thanking for the warm reception we always have been granted whenever we come to Kenya.”Antonio Tete
Nonetheless, Kenyans on X have raised questions regarding President João Lourenço’s whereabouts despite being in the country. On Monday, October 16, Angola’s president addressed his nation during their New Parliamentary Year event. However, the event was stained with drama after the president refused a request by Angola’s main opposition party leader to step on stage.
“Any citizen who wanted to make a speech on the state of the nation would be illegitimately exercising the powers that the constitution gives exclusively to the Head of State.”João Lourenço, Angolan President
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President João Lourenço’s remarks came after an Angolan parliament session was convened to consider an impeachment proposal from Angola’s main opposition team. From what Kenyan netizens understand about the political heat that rises from unsatisfied opposition parties, they would justify his no-show.
Regardless, Kenya’s 60th Mashujaa Day celebrations served its purpose of recognizing Kenyan heroes.