President Banda in Kenya for celebrations

Malawi Head of State Joyce Banda arrived in Nairobi, Wednesday evening  for Kenya’s 50 years of independence celebrations being held  on Thursday, December 12, 2013.

The President was welcomed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Senator Bertha Mugo.

The main anniversary celebrations will take place at the Moi International Sports Complex where over 12 heads of state and government will join thousands of Kenyans as they will be reflecting on their successes and failures since December 12, 1963 when the Kenyan flag was raised marking the end of colonial era, and took a major step on the road to becoming the nation it is today.

Patriotic Kenyans and the media are touting the 50 years as the making of a great nation.

President Dr Joyce Banda chats with President Uhuru Kenyatta in the VVIP holding room at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. pic by Felix Washon. MANA

Kenyatta kickstarted the 5 days of celebrations, the biggest since 1963 by hoisting the flag at the Uluru gardens.

From the mood in Nairobi the jubilee events fuse seamlessly into the celebrations and commemorations of the extraordinary life of the late Nelson Mandela who died on Thursday last week, and will be buried on Sunday.

The Kenyan media has been awash with Mandela funeral activities, where some newspapers have devoted as many as 10 pages to the funeral events.

President Banda and Kenyatta were among the 91 heads of state at the Mandela Memorial that took place at the FNB scorer stadium and viewed his body at the Union Buildings in Pretoria today where the world’s iconic leader’s body will lay in state for three days.

The Malawi leader who is also chairperson of the 14 member Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has meanwhile sent a message of goodwill and best wishes to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the people of Kenya and wished them well on this auspicious occasion.

Many more world leaders have sent similar messages wishing Kenya continued peace and prosperity. One such message has come from Her Majesty the  Queen and will be delivered by UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds MP who will represent Britain at the celebrations.

Apart from attending the celebrations, President Banda, who flew in from South Africa for the Mandela memorial service is expected to hold bilateral discussions with her Kenyan counterpart Kenyatta tomorrow.

The President will qlso preside over the signing ceremony of the Declaration of the Kampala dialogue and issuance of a Joint International conference on the Great Lakes Region–SADC Communiqué

Malawi has ambassadorial ties with Kenya which have been boosted in the past eight months with the Malawi Government’s reopening of its  offices in Nairobi closed over 10 years ago.

The reopening of the Malawi High Commission is expected to strengthen trade and  investment in the two countries.

The Malawi President returns home tomorrow on 12 December 2013 and her aircraft is expected to land at Kamuzu international Airport at 4pm.

Senator Berth Mugo welcomes President Dr Joyce Banda at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. pic by Felix Washon. MANA

President Banda chats with Senator Berth Mugo who welcomed her at the Jomo international airport

President Dr Joyce Banda is entertained by Kenya’s traditional dances upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. pic by Felix Washon. MANA

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