Hotels packed to capacity as Kisii hosts fete

Monday, October 19th, 2020 00:00 |
Workers fix public address system ahead of Mashujaa Day celebrations at Gusii Stadium. President Uhuru Kenyatta will grace the Event. Photo/PD/Robert Ochoro

It is all systems go for Mashujaa Day celebrations to be presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Gusii Stadium, Kisii County tomorrow.

Governor James Ongwae said roads within Kisii town and its environs, have been tarmacked to ease movement and congestion within the town’s Central Business District (CBD).

Among the roads improved and which will be used as alternative routes for vehicles are Nyatieko–Getare, Menyinkwa – Itierio, Christamariene-Menyinkwa, Nyatieko-Gesonso and Bobaracho-Menyinkwa.

Back streets and walkways have also been opened up, with alternative entry and exit routes identified, to enable matatu and boda boda operators to keep off the CBD, owing to traffic jam expected during the celebration.

Governor Ongwae said this is the first major national event to be hosted in the region. He said the celebration, which is held rotationally, has helped boost national cohesion, integration and infrastructure in hosting counties.

The county is privileged to host the seventh Mashujaa Day celebrations after Mombasa, Nakuru, Machakos, Narok, Kakamega, Nyeri and Meru.

“I thank the President for giving the county an opportunity to host the event. It is great and we cannot take it for granted,” Ongwae said.

Apart from road improvements, the event has also seen the county instal more than 500 street lights within Kisii Municipality and peri-urban areas to light up the area and boost business under the 24-hour economy.

Yesterday, several church and traditional groups were practicing while painters and technicians mounted public address systems to ease communication on the big day.

Mounted screens

Ongwae said Gusii Stadium, which has been jointly upgraded by the national and the county government, has seen the Presidential standard VIP pavilion being renovated and the 12 terraces which can accommodate more than 10,000 people being given a face lift.

Only 3,000 people will be allowed into the stadium while 8,000 will watch the celebrations at Kisii Golf Course on mounted screens.

He said several screens will be mounted at the bus park and other areas for members of the public to follow the event live.

“We are limiting the number of people into the stadium and the Golf Course to comply with the Covid-19 protocols,” Ongwae said.

Interior Principal Secretary (PS) Karanja Kibicho says military officers were finalising their rehearsals. He said the construction of the mini State lodge is complete.

The PS, who inspected Gusii Stadium with Ongwae said he is satisfied with the on-going preparations.

Kisii town has several two-star hotels with 4,500 rooms, which have been fully booked by guests from across the county and beyond a head of the event.

Hotel Managers - Tom Openda (Zonic Hotel), Juma Anyonje (Dans Hotel), Isabella Lumumba, (Ufanisi Resort) and Kennedy Omondi (Mocha Hotel) said their facilities have been booked for Monday and Tuesday.

Openda said the management has put measures in place to ensure that the guests  are safe and enjoy their stay before and after the celebrations.

Kisii County Commissioner Abdirasack Jaldesa noted the county had updated the data of all the hotels on their websites ,with their respective specifications for guests to choose.

He said the county has taken measures to curb congestion at the CBD and urged matatu and boda boda operators to cooperate with law enforcers to avoid conflicts.

Enough officers

Jaldesa said:  “We have enough officers who will ensure there is maximum security for our guests. I urge members of the public to cooperate to make the celebration successful.”

He said traffic officers are prepared to ensure there is order in the town and stressed that vehicles using Kisii- Keroka and Kisii- Kisumu roads, will be diverted to avoid congestion in Kisii town.

County Health Executive Sarah Omache said water points have been placed around the stadium for visitors to wash their hands and sanitise before they enter the stadium.

“ I urge visitors who enter the stadium to wear masks, keep social distance, wash and sanitise their hands to curb the spread of Covid-19” Omache told People Daily at her office yesterday.

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