Uhuru visits ailing football legend Kadenge, drops him Ksh2m

President Uhuru and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta fulfilled the wish of ailing Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge when he visited him at his Nairobi home in South B estate on Sunday and left him Ksh2m among other goodies.

Kadenge had requested the Head of State to call on him following his latest health scare and President Uhuru honoured the request before he flew out of the country for official duty in India in a visit interrupted by power blackouts.

The visit was surrounded with uncertainty with reports suggesting Kadenge would be taken to State House but in the end, it was the President who showed up to the delight of the man who made the phrase Kadenge na mpira (Kadenge with the ball) a household refrain on radio during his heyday.

The Head of State gave Kadenge Ksh2m to top up the fundraising effort towards his plight that started on cross-platform instant messaging application WhatsApp following his hospitalisation on Boxing Day three days after collapsing during a family outing.

He was also offered a comprehensive National Hospital Insurance Fund card and can now access treatment anywhere where it was announced he will be be going to the Nairobi Hospital for eye surgery

Uhuru was also flanked by Cabinet Secretary for Sport, Culture and the Arts, Dr. Hassan Wario, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko, Principal Secretary for Sports Joe Okudo and Director of Digital Dennis Itumbi who addressed the press after the Head of State departed the estate home of the football star that is under threat from grabbers.

“I pray for the President and call for unity ahead of General Elections,” Kadenge said while handing Uhuru a copy of his biography and two jerseys with his favorite Number 7 one for the President and another for the First Lady.

Wario told the media Uhuru has ordered the Heroes Council to be operational in three weeks to deal with matters affecting legends of the past who have served the country with distinction.

The Council is captured in the Kenya Heroes Act of 2014, which defines a hero, stipulates elements of its establishment and mandate among other details.

“There will be a meeting next week between the Ministry of Sports and National Treasury to discuss the same,” Wario declared.

-Kadenge love-

Joe Kadenge (middle) presents his jersey to President Uhuru (left) and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (right) on Sunday, January 8, 2017. PHOTO/Courtesy
Joe Kadenge (middle) presents his jersey to President Uhuru (left) and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (right) on Sunday, January 8, 2017. PHOTO/Courtesy

Wario further thanked Kenyans for the love they showed for Kadenge, saying everyone in their own way have a part to play in honouring national heroes.

Residents eagerly waited for Uhuru to arrive once they learnt of his possible visit earlier in the day and started standing by the road leading to Kadenge’s  home from as early as 10am local time (+3GMT).

According to residents, a tent with national colours was erected in the morning, confirming the Head of State’se visit that had been hinted by the PS Okudo on Thursday.

After a long wait, Uhuru, who had been on a development tour in the Coastal region finally showed up at 6:20pm and went straight into the tent.

Only a few close family members were allowed in where he held a 10-minute meeting with them, before going to the third floor apartment where Kadenge was resting.

Amidst cheers from those who thronged outside the ageing estate where Kadenge has lived since 1963, Uhuru paused to shake hands with children who rushed to him as he made his way up the rickety stairs.

The President took 45 minutes inside Kadenge’s sitting room despite two power blackouts that lasted for almost 10 minutes each momentarily disrupting the meeting by plunging the place into darkness.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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