'Citizen president' Uhuru makes life easy for journalists
07 October 2014, 13:16
Nairobi - Covering events where the president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta is present is not easy, with access limited; but the new version makes life much easier for all and sundry.
Normally, when the president heads to the airport to leave the country, access is very limited and on most occasions, we are forced to rely on the Presidential Press Service PSCU to cover such events.
But when he declared Monday that he would travel to the Hague as a citizen, I immediately knew my job would be easier.
First off, with the absence of presidential guard, it was easy to set up and prepare for his arrival on Tuesday morning. Normally we are not allowed to step even 20 metres close to the president and even then, most times we miss out.
This time, I was able to mingle freely with everyone, including Cabinet Secretaries Charity Ngilu and Michael Kamau. On normal occasions, they would be in the presidential dias and you would not meet them.
And when the 'citizen' president arrived, it was the easiest do deal with.
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I got really close, said hi, he shook my hand back and I believe I would have been even more lucky had he decided to make a speech. His wife Margaret was also free to talk to us journalists, even sharing a joke about her new status.
" This is unusual, she joked as she headed to the Kenya Airways departure terminal.
The 'citizen' president was jovial too, and with many joking that he feels better without the usual excess fanfare, he also took it a level higher by stating his feelings.
" This is easy, he said upon check- in at the airport.
Usually, he would have a military guard to inspect and other related activities and it was clear to see why he feels abit free.
For me though, it was one of those days when I stood close to the president who was not a president.
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