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How Mzee Kenyatta’s Drivers Beat His Speed Limit

President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his daughter Margaret(left) and with his son Uhuru (right) in 1965 Photo: Courtesy

Kenya’s first president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was a man with very strict instructions and when it came to his travels, he was very particular to his drivers.

Kenyatta was not a fan of speeding and would direct his staff not to exceed 40 Km/hr.

In a previous interview, politician John Keen disclosed that the former president’s escort could not move faster than the prescribed speed limit.

“His speed limit was 40 km/h and you risked his wrath to exceed it, his Escort Commander would tell me,” he was quoted by the Nation.

To overcome this, the escort commander would adopt a clever trick, especially for long distances.

On trips from State House Nakuru to Mombasa, the commander and president’s driver would drive the recommended 40Km/hr.

They would wait for Kenyatta to take a nap and accelerate to the topmost speed.

To avoid getting caught, they would slow down to the designated speed limit as soon as the president stopped snoring.

Another interesting trait observed by those closest to Mzee Kenyatta was that he hated flying to an extent he only flew out of Kenya once during his 14-year tenure.

That historic flight was in 1969 when he made a flight to Ethiopia to visit the then Emperor Haile Selassie who was a very close friend.


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