There was pomp and colour in Gatundu South on Thursday as Gatundu Market traders gathered to celebrate retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 62nd birthday.

The residents and traders joyfully sang and danced while participating in the cutting of Uhuru’s three-tier birthday cake adorned with a theme inspired by the Kenyan flag.

The traders adorned red-themed aprons and hand scarves bearing the inscription ‘Jubilee, Tuko Mbele Pamoja.’

The market was also adorned with a variety of colored balloons, and posters featured Uhuru’s picture along with the message ‘Happy Birthday’.

“God bless you for all your efforts in leading our great county towards better days, may he continue blessing you with good health and prosperity to this and many more years to come,” some of the posters read.

Uhuru was however not present; the locals said they missed him and urged him to visit them.

In their jubilant song, sung in the Kikuyu dialect, the traders expressed their frustrations since Kenyatta left office, chanting, “Kuma wathii nikwanyitanire,” which loosely translates to “Since you left, life has become extremely difficult.”

The Gatundu South locals also expressed regret and offered apologies to Kenyatta, claiming that they were misled during the 2022 General Election.

“Tulimkosea sababu tulienda na wave, lakini tunaomba msamaha, tunaomba akuje huku nyumbani tumsherehekee kama vile tumefanya leo. Akiwa kwa uongozi, alipatia watoto wetu kazi, na pia tulikuwa tunaweza kuwasomesha, sahii maisha imekuwa ngumu sana, na tuko na shida,” expressed Nyambura Kimani, a trader.

Loosely translated: (We made a mistake because we followed the wave, but we ask for forgiveness. We plead for him to come back home so that we can celebrate him as we have done today. Under his leadership, he provided jobs for our children, and we could afford to educate them. Now, life has become very difficult, and we are facing challenges)

The residents expressed gratitude for the development projects the region experienced during Uhuru’s tenure, stating that they would always be indebted to Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kamau Migwi highlighted that the region witnessed the implementation of multi-billion development projects, including the construction of Gatundu Level Five Hospital, Gatundu Modern Market, and significant water projects.

Migwi also mentioned that Uhuru Kenyatta helped establish the first university in Gatundu South – Mama Ngina University in Mutomo village – a move he said revolutionized higher education and spurred growth in the area.

The locals described Uhuru as a humble and down-to-earth leader, expressing regret for not heeding his advice before last year’s general elections.

Similar birthday parties for Uhuru Kenyatta were witnessed in several other parts of Kiambu County and Central Kenya, including Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s Mathira backyard in Nyeri County.