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Uhuru: Pull down my portraits if you want

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday cleared the air on the raging debate regarding the display of his portraits in business premises and public offices.

The President, through his State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu, said no one will be compelled to display his portraits in their business premises or office.

The hanging of a head of state’s portrait is a practise borrowed from the colonial regime and the administrations of former Presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi. It is not a legal requirement under Kenya’s constitution.

Siaya governor Cornell Rasanga had last month urged 24 governors drawn from the opposition Cord coalition to pull down President Kenyatta’s portraits and replace them with those of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

But on Tuesday, Mr Esipisu said no legal action can be taken on people who pull down President Kenyatta’s portraits.

“No one is forcing anyone to do anything. I think portraits have been up in terms of existing tradition…and it is one that we are not fleeing away from,” Mr Esipisu told journalists.