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The process of awarding national honors

By Njange Maina
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
Uhuru Award Kipchoge
President Uhuru awards the first human on earth to run a full sub two hour Marathon Eliud Kipchoge with an E.G.H award. PHOTO/STATE HOUSE KENYA
In summary
    • Today October 20, the country witnessed President Uhuru Kenyatta confer Olympics Champion Eliud Kipchoge with the highest civilian Presidential award. The Elder of the Order of Golden Heart (E.G.H.), is the highest category in the Golden Hearts awards of Kenya.
     
    • The National Honour Act recognizes people who have made exemplary contributions to the country, whether citizens or aliens (non-citizens).

Today October 20, Kenya witnessed President Uhuru Kenyatta confer Olympics Champion Eliud Kipchoge with the highest civilian presidential award.

The Elder of the Order of Golden Heart (E.G.H.) is the highest category in the Golden Hearts awards of Kenya.

The honour was earlier conferred on governors and top serving civil servants.

Kipchoge is among the few non-civil servants to receive the E.G.H honour. If he chooses, Kipchoge can add the title E.G.H. to his name.

President Kenyatta awarded Kipchoge in strict accordance with Article (4) (c) of the Constitution of Kenya.

The Deputy President can also confer the presidential honors but only if the President is incapacitated to do so or advises him to do so.

A section of the National Honours Act 2013

Uhuru did not just decide to confer the honor to Kipchoge but he followed the guidance from the National Honours Advisory Committee.

The committee is established by the National Honours Act.

Apart from honouring an individual, the President can also confer a national honour to a corporation or an association of people such as teachers or doctors.

The Act recognizes people who have made exemplary contributions to the country, whether citizens or aliens (non-citizens).

"A person who exhibited or exhibits exemplary qualities, actions or achievements of heroism, sacrifice, bravery, patriotism or leadership for the defence, benefit or betterment of the country or a county," the National Honours Act of 2013.

Any person who brings honour, glory or pride to the country can also receive a national honour. The respective honouring Advisory Committee decides which award to confer and to whom.

Kipchoge brought glory to Kenya last weekend when he became the first man to run a full marathon under two hours on October 12 during the "INEOS 1:59 Challenge". Kipchoge becomes the first Athlete to receive an E.G.H award.

The Process

A person can nominate themselves or be nominated by others through filling a free nomination form provided by the Presidency or through the County Governments

The Advisory Committee receives the nominees and justifies who to qualifies and which award. The Advisory Committee recommends to the President and advises him of the suitability of each nominee. The committee advises the president which specific award that nominee is to be conferred.

The act, however, indicates that names of the award nominees be published in atleast two daily newspapers to invite public views. This requirement is often bypassed.

Just as the President can award a national honor, he can also revoke it.

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