RALLYING FOR PEACE

Use Safari to promote peace ahead of elections, President Uhuru tells Kenyans

Speaking a few minutes prior to flag-off, the President urged Kenyans to use Safari Rally as a vehicle to promote peace.

In Summary

• Last year, the event attracted 78 million viewers in over 158 countries, injecting Sh6 billion into the country’s economy and President Uhuru expects more this year.

• “From the rally, we learn that our competition is not our enemy, how we run the race is more important than the results,” President Uhuru said prior to flagging off McRae Kimathi’s Ford Fiesta Rally 3, the first car off the ramp.

Official launch of WRC Safari Rally at KICC on June 23, 2022
Official launch of WRC Safari Rally at KICC on June 23, 2022
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

President Uhuru officially flagged off the 2022 WRC Safari Rally at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi with a strong message for Kenyans to promote peace ahead of the General Elections in August.

Speaking a few minutes prior to flag-off, the President urged Kenyans to use Safari Rally as a vehicle to promote peace.

“From the rally, we learn that our competition is not our enemy, how we run the race is more important than the results,” President Uhuru said prior to flagging off McRae Kimathi’s Ford Fiesta Rally 3, the first car off the ramp.

Last year, the event attracted 78 million viewers in over 158 countries, injecting Sh6 billion into the country’s economy and President Uhuru expects more this year.

“This year’s Safari will be bigger and better because the spectators are already enthusiastic about the sport in all the counties. I take this opportunity to thank the world governing body FIA for helping Kenya make the competition a success,” added President Uhuru.

President Uhuru congratulated Kimathi Jr for flying the county’s flag high in his full campaign of the FIA WRC season in Europe.

McRae became the first Kenyan to ever complete on snow on Rally Sweden which is WRC’s sole snow fixture.

“This Safari has a special place in our heritage. The competition tells the story of our diversity and splendor. It is tied to the history of our sport in modern Kenya,” President Uhuru said.

“I take pride in having led the team that brought the Safari Rally home, after a 19-year hiatus. We feel honoured to be granted the chance to host the event until 2026,” the President said.

Sports CS Amina Mohamed thanked the President for spearheading the return of the Safari Rally back to the WRC Calendar after a 19-year lull.

“As we hold the sixth left of the global series, we are planting 19 million trees as part of our program to offset the carbon footprint,” said Amina.

Meanwhile, thousands of spectators thronged the Kasarani Super Special to catch a glimpse of Rally 1 hybrid machines in full action.

The cars ran a head-to-head format of racing where Kimathi Jr and Maxine Wahome were first in their M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally cars.

Elsewhere, thousands of Ugandan spectators are in town to witness the event which counts towards the sixth round of the WRC.

More than seven 50 -seater buses carrying the Ugandan spectator crossed the border town of Busia on Tuesday well in time for Wednesday’s Shakedown at Loldia.

Thursday's action at Kasarani marked the first stage where the new generation Rally 1 cars had tackled outside Europe. The hybrid power Rally 1 cars were introduced in the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo.