President William Ruto, on Friday, June 2, broke State House security protocol after he became the first Head of State to host winners of the National Drama Festival at his official residence.
During the event, Ruto explained that he was determined to avoid the tradition maintained by former Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, Mwai Kibaki, Daniel arap Moi and Jomo Kenyatta.
Previously, the events were not held at State House owing to security threats posed by the props used in acting and setting up the stage.
He noted that he also wanted the event and the arts industry to receive serious attention owing to the numerous job opportunities in the industry.
"I did not come to Mombasa as invited earlier through the ministry, and it was intentional. I wanted you to come so we can set a new standard and raise the bar in matters of arts and the creative industry.
"What has happened here, has never happened at State House. I wanted to set the pace so the creative industry can be appreciated," he stated.
Ruto referred to a statement made by Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, who also indicated that the event posed a security threat, given the props that the students used.
The CS added that Ruto's move encouraged students and the creative arts industry.
"The set-up here has been amazing. We have never had sliding curtains, props and lights. Previously, some of the props were considered instruments of mass destruction and barred from the State House.
"You (Ruto) have allowed these props to be let in," Namwamba stated.
Gachagua on the other hand, noted that the creative industry was critical to the government's transformative agenda, even as he called on the organisers not to censor content that was critical of the government.
"The President does not want a worship choir, what he needs is an audit from these young people who have no malice. Previously, the organisers censored what was presented at State House," the DP stated.
Previously, presidents have hosted the events at state lodges outside the capital, such as the Sagana Lodge and State House Mombasa.
For instance, former President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted winners of the 2018 Kenya National Music Festivals at Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri County.
State House Nairobi, previously known as Government House, is over 100 years having been built in 1907.