President Kenyatta on Friday led the nation in marking 53rd Mashujaa Day at Uhuru Park in the capital Nairobi.
The Head of State, who arrived at the venue at 11.30am, addressed the nation on issues afflicting the country, including the repeat presidential election impasse.
On this day, Kenyans used to celebrate heroes who fought for their independence from Britain but has since been expanded to recognise individuals who have made outstanding contribution to the country in various fields, including sports, medicine, education among others.
This day comes at a time Kenya is at a crossroads over repeat presidential elections.
Of focus is the push and shove between his Jubilee Party and the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) on the fate of the poll slated for October 26.
While Nasa leader Raila Odinga has argued that there will be no election after his withdrawal, President Kenyatta has insisted the poll will go as planned and threatened to deal with troublemakers.
Mr Odinga has also called for dialogue, a move opposed by President Kenyatta.
The opposition leader is unlikely to attend the national celebrations in Nairobi as he is scheduled to , one of his turfs in western Kenya.
The political stalemate has taken a beating on the economy, investors adopting a wait-and-see approach.
By 10.30am, leaders and ordinary Kenyans has already made their way to the venue, including Chief Justice David Maraga, his deputy Philomena Mwilu, Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.
Deputy President William, his wife Rachel, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, a host of Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and other high-ranking government officials also made it the event before 11am.
Invited dignitaries and ambassadors were also mong guests who took seat at the VIP dais.
The park was filling up, with some of people in attendance donning Jubilee Party colours.
There is heavy police presence at the park and security men were screening everybody entering the venue.
Traditional dancers and choirs entertained guests before the arrival of Mr Kenyatta.
Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki said this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations should not only be used to remember the freedom fighters but also to also seek ways of fostering national unity a head of the repeat election.
Speaking during a morning media briefing at his office, Mr Njuki asked Kenyans to preach peace as they celebrate.
He faulted Mr Odinga’s decision to hold parallel celebrations in Kisumu.
It is lack of patriotism and respect to the incumbent leadership, he said.
Contrary to what had been happening in the former regime of Samuel Ragwa, he said, there was unity between Tharaka-Nithi leadership and the national government.
Reported by Kennedy Kimanthi, Alex Njeru and Silas Apollo.
The Nasa team will honour victims of police brutality in the Mashujaa Day celebrations.