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Obama’s Kasarani rally to pull 300,000 crowd


US President Barack Obama’s rally on Sunday is likely to attract a crowd of 300,000 in the unlikely event that it is open to all, according to police estimates.

Mr Obama will speak to Kenyans from the Safaricom Indoor Arena of the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, according to State House.

But the exact format of the US President’s meeting, like most aspects of his visit, is still a closely guarded secret.

One school of thought is that it will be an invitations only session, possibly attended by Members of Parliament, civil society leaders and other worthies.

Should the doors be flung open, police privately estimate that hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic Kenyans will head to the stadium, creating a logistical and security problem on a scale rarely managed by local forces.

On Sunday, State House said President Uhuru Kenyatta will on Tuesday address the country ahead of his bilateral talks with President Obama.

He is expected to give Kenyans an idea of the discussions he will be holding with the US President.

At a press briefing on the visit yesterday, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, however, did not reveal any details on the meeting between the two leaders, only saying they will hold the talks at State House and thereafter address a joint press conference.

On Mr Obama’s address at Kasarani, Mr Esipisu said: “The US embassy has confirmed that this in fact remains the case, and a Sunday speech is penciled in. But there are no further details at this stage”.

He said US Ambassador Robert Godec and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed would address the subject later this week.

On Saturday, the two presidents will co-host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at the UN compound in Gigiri.

Kenya will be seeking to build on the strong relationship and partnership with the US.

Mr Esipisu said the relationship between the two countries was “forged from a deep and relentless quest for democracy, equality of opportunity, the freedom of association and an openness to the world”.

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SOURCE: Daily Nation