Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta joined the illustrious alumni of the Namibian national honour’s roll on Thursday, 21 March 2019.
This after Namibia bestowed on him the Grand Commander of the Order of the Most Ancient Welwitschia Mirabilis First Class.
President Hage Geingob conferred the country’s highest honour on his Kenyan counterpart during the 29th Independence Day celebration at Independence stadium in Windhoek.
Kenyatta was the guest of honour during the celebrations of the national event.
The honour on Kenyatta was a sign that Namibia remains eternally grateful to the people of Kenya for their generous contribution to the Namibia’s independence.
Kenya was among African countries that contributed troops in 1989 to be part of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) that monitored and guaranteed security to the United Nations-led electoral process in Namibia.
After Namibia declared independence on 21 March 1990, and redeployment of UNTAG troop, the Kenyan government agreed to the request to delay the redeployment of its troops help to preserve security and assist with the establishment of the Namibian Defence Force.
“In the aftermath of the successful, free and fair elections of 1989, and our subsequent independence, Kenya was there to assist us until we became steady on our feet. When the rest of the UNTAG force departed, our Founding Father, Comrade Sam Nujoma, made a brotherly appeal to President Daniel Arap Moi, for the Kenyan Blue Helmet Contingent, under the leadership of Lieutenant General Daniel Ishmael Opande, to remain behind for three months, to help maintain stability, at the cost of the Kenyan Government,” Geingob narrated.
The Welwitschia Mirabilis honour, named after an ancient plant endemic to the Namib Desert is the highest honour that can be bestowed to presidents, and former heads of state of foreign nations.
The same honour was given to Angolan President Joao Lourenco in May 2018.
The honour, a big medal in the shape of a sun and a sash with two yellow bands and green band in the middle is the highest honour on the Namibian honouring system as per the Conferment of National Honours Act, 2012 (Act No. 11 of 2012).