In a move that caught many by surprise, President Uhuru Kenyatta dropped close to 400 prominent politicians, celebrities, journalists and judges from the list of those who received state commendations during the 56th celebrations of Jamhuri Day.
The list drastically reduced from 402 to just 12 individuals, catching many by surprise.
The Standard quoted National assembly speaker Justin Muturi confirming that names were removed from the list at the final minute but failed to explain why this was done.
“The final list will come out from the printer. There are names that have been removed including staff but not all. Others had errors as they were being enhanced from one level to another,” said Muturi.
The publication quoted a senior government official alleging that those dropped from the list may have been expunged due to the fact that they have been charged in courts or named in scandals.
“Some of the names in the list could not pass. It was unattainable going by the latest development where some people have been charged in court.” Said the official.
A vocal MP from central Kenya attributed the move to the frosty in Jubilee Party leadership, alleging that State House operatives weeded out names of individuals allied to a top government figure.
“This is the work of State House and Office of the President mandarins. It is wrong to politicise everything. If the nominating institutions settled on us, why punish us to please your master?” stated the MP.
He alleged that although some of those dropped are allies of Raila Odinga, they were merely collateral damage and were not the real targets in the radical surgery.
“The names were submitted after they were cleared by the relevant agencies. It was a long list,” said an official within the presidency.
The coveted awards are presented to indiduals for their distinguished service to humanity and Kenya.
However, they were the subject of debate during President Kenyatta’s term when controversial individuals such as Martin Kamotho, aka Githeri man and Dennis Itumbi became recipients of the awards with Kenyans questioning the criteria used to select them.