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Uhuru lights iconic Christmas tree in Westlands

Pomp and colour marked the lighting of a Christmas tree by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Westlands on the eve of Christmas Day.

The Christmas tree lighting ceremony was preceded by the Kenyan band serenading the few guests who attended the function with Christmas carols under the iconic Fig Tree in Westlands.

President Kenyatta urged Kenyans to celebrate the holiday responsibly during the festive season, even as he expressed optimism that 2021 will bring good tidings for the country.

The head of state expressed hope that by the New Year, Covid-19 pandemic would have eased so that people can return to their normal lives.

“We are here today to celebrate our past, present and our hopes for the future. I urge us to celebrate with our families and spread the joy of Christmas to everyone around us,” he said.

He was accompanied by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi, who urged Kenyans to be their brothers’ keepers by remembering the less fortunate in the society during the festivities.

“This Tree lighting ceremony symbolises hope and the good in the world. The hope its lighting will awaken amongst ourselves the true spirit of the season, which is joy, charity and forgiveness,” said Mr Badi.

At the same time, Mr Kenyatta said the preservation and conservation of the over 100-year-old Fig Tree in Westlands is a clear testament that it is possible for environment and infrastructure to go hand in hand.

“As we light this tree which was there even before Nairobi, it is a clear testament that it is possible for us to preserve and conserve while at the same time develop rapidly our infrastructure and our capacity to ensure that our citizens live a decent, clean livelihoods that each and every citizens is entitled to,” the president added.

He reiterated his government’s commitment to environmentally conscious development by preserving Kenya’s cultural and ecological heritage to benefit present and future generations.

President Kenyatta declared that the iconic tree be adopted by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service as a beacon of Kenya’s cultural and ecological heritage.