More security ahead of memorial concert at Uhuru Park

The personnel were deployed at various places including near Parliament and State House.

The poster
Image: Boniface/X

On Sunday, July 7, additional security personnel were mobilized ahead of a planned memorial concert at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, to honour those who lost their lives during recent anti-government protests.

The personnel were deployed at various strategic locations, including near Parliament, State House, and major roads.

Officials stated that this was a precautionary measure to prevent any potential criminal activity. “We are there to ensure safety for all,” said a police officer.

Organizers of the event announced that there would be a series of activities at the park, including testimonies from families and friends of the victims.

Artists scheduled to perform include Khaligraph Jones, Bien, Fena, Nameless, Octopizzo, Charisma, Juliani, Eric Wainaina, Sarabi Band, Graffiti Band, Mutoria, DJ Moh, DJ Double Trouble, Field Marshall Band, Njerae, DJ Lordwin, MC Kwambix, MC Kibunja, and MC Njoria.

The protests, which occurred nationwide, resulted in 41 deaths and hundreds of injuries, with many still hospitalized with severe bullet wounds. There are concerns that the death toll may rise.

In response to the protests, President William Ruto declined to assent to the Finance Bill 2024.

To ensure the safety of the memorial concert, police and event organizers have enhanced security measures. The concert is scheduled from 12 pm to 7 pm.

July 7 is also a significant day in the fight for the country’s second liberation. Top police officers met on Friday at police headquarters in Nairobi and agreed to provide security for the event.

They instructed officers in the Nairobi region to collaborate with event organizers on logistics, including the routes to and from the park.

Police acknowledged that disrupting the event could lead to chaos, given the history of such events in the city.

There were concerns that some attendees might plan to march to key strategic locations as part of ongoing protests.

As a precaution, more security officials will be deployed on roads leading to and around State House.

A preliminary memorial event is planned at the nearby All Saints Cathedral before the main event at Uhuru Park.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja endorsed the concert and assured county security support.

Sakaja stressed the importance of acknowledging the tragic events and the lives affected.

“It is true that I have received a request for a peace concert at Uhuru Park; I see no problem with it. If it is a genuine expression, then it is good,” Sakaja stated.

“Uhuru Park belongs to Kenyans and Nairobians; it doesn’t belong to me. I am just a steward over that resource. I know it is currently an active crime scene, but I hope the DCI will conclude.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring flowers as a gesture of remembrance and peace. Sakaja confirmed his attendance, stating the significance of honoring the young people who lost their lives.

“We will support that expression. That concert is in honor of the young people we lost. It is good to honor them and their families and see what support we can give them. I will attend because these are my constituents,” Sakaja added.

The park remains an active crime scene due to recent vandalism, including the destruction of a mobile studio dedicated to recording artists.

“Fees for the injured and deceased across county hospitals and mortuaries have been waived as a gesture of acknowledging the right to expression,” Sakaja announced.