In countries with authoritarian regimes such as North Korea or Russia, what took place on Tuesday would have very easily landed the officers involved, and even the heads of their squadrons, in front of the firing squad. Army officers have been executed in the past without hesitation in such countries, reason being that an officer is required to conduct himself in a manner that brings honour and pride to the country and the president. Anything that embarrasses the country, or brings shame to the president, is considered treasonous.
On Tuesday, during the Jamhuri day celebrations, the army, as has always been the country’s tradition during national events, held military drills and exercises so as to display their prowess and agility on the battlefield, and in the air.
To witnesses this show of might and bravado that was on full display at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu were not only the three thousand Kenyans that were allowed to attend the festivities in accordance with the set Covid-19 regulations, but also foreign dignitaries who included the minister of Human settlements, Water and Sanitation from South Africa, Lindiwe Sisulu.
Also in attendance was none other than the Burundi President, Evariste Ndayishimiye.
In a bid to make President Uhuru proud in front of his foreign guests, the air force held a string of drills that included parachuters.
Sadly, as it turned out, either the airmen were poorly trained, or perhaps, in their defense, were simply having a bad day. One of the paratroopers tumbled in an effort to descend heroically from the skies, and ended up, not just making a shameful failure of the entire process, but also injured himself.
In another incident that was equally embarrassing for the president, a Kenya navy officer collapsed and had to be escorted to an ambulance by paramedics. He was part of the line-up comprised of Kenya Navy Officers, Air Force and Kenya Defence Forces.
While this might perhaps have been due to health reasons, it all the same pointed to a unit that isn’t rock solid.
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