Over the years, many Kenyans have received various national honours and medals from the president during various state functions.
However, quite a large number of Kenyans don't know how the individuals are selected, which has occasionally triggered a debate about the qualifications of some of the awardees.
While The National Honours Advisory Committee is allowed to pick anyone deemed deserving, Kenyans can also apply for consideration.President Uhuru Kenyatta decorates Maj. Gen. Fatuma Ahmed after she took oath of office as Assistant Chief of Defence Forces -Personnel and Logistics at State House, NairobiFile
The application form can be accessed by visiting the Cabinetoffice.go.ke website, clicking on the Downloads tab and choosing the National Honours Nomination Form.
The form is provided free of charge and has various gaps which applicants should fill.
Kenyans can nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues, networks, friends or anyone else.
In the first part of the form, the following details about the nominee are required;
Title, name, position/ title/ rank (if any), ID/passport number, date of birth, nationality, county of birth (if Kenyan), postal address, email address, telephone numbers, home county, sub-county, ward, location, sub-location, village, highest academic qualification, and occupation.
Some of the key areas to focus on are;
- Record of public service or role in national development.
- Achievements which makes them stand out from others.
- Posts or engagements/roles which the nominee has excelled.
- Other awards which they have received in their work.
One is then required to fill what presidential award or medal they are applying for.
The information has to be seconded by another person who is also expected to convince the committee that the achievements listed are true and also give their personal details as required.
The form is sent to The National Honours Advisory Committee where it is reviewed and a decision is made.
The National Honours Act of 2013 requires that names of the award nominees be published in at least two daily newspapers to invite public views but this is often bypassed.
Just as the president can award a national honour, he can also revoke it.
List of Presidential Awards and Meanings.
The current medals are divided into eight with each category being set aside for select individuals.
Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (C.G.H)
The highest of these awards is the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya which is divided into three classes depending on their seniority. The most senior is the Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (C.G.H.) which is mostly awarded to Presidents.
Apart from sitting Kenyan Presidents, other notable figures who have previously been given the honour include Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, his Liberian counterpart Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Agha Khan IV among others.
Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.)
This awarded to among others the Deputy President, Speakers of Parliament, Cabinet Secretaries, the First Lady, the wife of the Deputy President, Head of Public Service and the Kenya Defence Forces' (KDF) Chief of Staff.President Uhuru Kenyatta hands over an EGH Award to Ida Odinga at State House on August 23, 2018File
Moran of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (M.G.H.)
Recipients of this award include senior KDF commanders and the Inspector General of Police.
The Order of the Burning Spear
This award is also divided into the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (C.B.S.), Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (E.B.S.) and Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (M.B.S.).
Some of those who hold this award are senior judges, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu and journalist Jeff Koinange, 800M Olympic champion David Rudisha among others.
The other presidential orders in terms of seniority include; the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya, the Distinguished Conduct Order, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star of Kenya, Head of State's Commendation and the Uhodari Medal. The Uhodari Medal is the highest military medal. Less than 15 have been awarded, and only a few are alive.A collage of different presidential medals in KenyaFile
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