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Dignitaries flee after snake is spotted at Uhuru event

There was a scary moment for close to five minutes at the Kisumu State Lodge after a snake appeared few meters from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s seat.

The incident, however, happened some 10 minutes before the Head of State arrived at the State Lodge.

President Kenyatta was to preside over the national drama festival gala at the venue.

Leaders including Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Culture Hassan Wario and Nominated Senator Joy Gwendo, journalists and other dignitaries scampered for safety as the security detail used clubs and twigs to kill the green mamba.

The snake was killed at 12.22 pm. At 12.25, President Kenyatta was addressing a crowd at the Kenya commercial Bank (KCB) round about on Oginga Odinga Street, where residents had lined up to receive him.

MOTORCADE SNAKED ITS WAY

His speech lasted for around seven minutes, before his motorcade snaked its way to the State Lodge using the Jomo Kenyatta Highway.

The snake was on one of the posts that had a climbing plant on it providing a good camouflage for the reptile.

The post stood barely five meters from the seats reserved for the president, Education CS Dr Fred Matiang’i and Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma.

Security officers both in suits and casual clothes hit the snake paralyzing its movements and reducing the tension it had caused for the anxious guests who were waiting for the president to arrive and to be entertained by the best performers at the gala.

The Kisumu State lodge has been lying idle for years, with its maintenance not up to par.

The president’s residence is also situated on the leafy suburbs of Kisumu’s Milimani Estate, surrounded by trees and bushes, an ample environment for such kinds of serpents.

GIVEN LIFE TO STATE LODGES

The building is adjacent to Lake Victoria, which is currently marooned by water hyacinth.

The weed is also a breeding ground for snakes and other harmful animals.

It remained inactive especially during the Grand Coalition government where President Mwai Kibaki rarely used it for State functions or spent nights in it.

His predecessor President Daniel Arap Moi used to frequent the lakeside city especially when coming to officially open the Agricultural Society of Kenya Show, where he could spend the nights.

President Kenyatta’s regime has of late given life to all State lodges across the country.

State House Spokesperson Mr Manoah Esipisu has been issued weekly briefings at various lodges in the country. He has held two from in Kisumu.