US envoy Robert Godec urges public to stay away from Kasarani

Kenyans will on Sunday have to be content with watching US President Barack Obama on TV as he makes his address.

His speech will be broadcast live from the Safaricom Indoor Arena at the Moi International Sports Centre.

Organisers have ruled out attendance by wananchi, saying only invited guests would be allowed into the venue.


“While we want a wide cross-section of Kenyan society to be present, attendance is by invitation only. We discourage people from coming to the venue if they are not invited,” said US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec.

On Friday, the guests received their tickets to the arena from 9am to 5pm. The arena can accommodate 5,000 people.

The tickets were issued by the US Embassy Protocol Office at several booths.

The office had earlier sent out invitations to some individuals and asked for their confirmation. Only those who had confirmed attendance were issued with the tickets.

“The speech will be broadcast live across the country on both radio and television to ensure that every Kenyan who wishes to follow the president’s remarks can do so,” said Mr Godec.

Guests have been informed of the high security checks that will be carried out at the venue. They have also been advised to carry with them their identification documents, alongside their entry tickets.

The security checks will be similar to those conducted at airports.

Guests will enter the sports centre through Gate 12, which will be opened at 7am. Doors to the indoor arena, where the event will take place, will be opened at 8.30am.


The invited guests have been urged to bring as few personal items as possible. Bags, sharp objects, umbrellas and liquids will not be allowed into the arena.

They are, however, permitted to carry small cameras and snacks, including groundnuts and chocolate bars.

Officers from President Obama’s security team have been inspecting the venue since early this week.

They have been doing so alongside Kenyan security officers.

The US ambassador dismissed speculation that there would be large crowds attending the event, saying the estimation of 300,000 people was too high.