What you need to know about Kenya’s presidential awards

By Joel Muinde On Sun, 20 Oct, 2019 18:44 | 2 mins read
Eliud Kipchoge EGH
President Uhuru Kenyatta confers the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart on Eliud Kipchoge during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa on October 20, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

Kenya bestows several honours on its exemplary citizens for their roles or contributionS to the country. 

Those awarded are honoured during national celebrations — even though the President is at liberty to dish out the honours at any other given time.

The Order of the Golden Heart has three classes, the first, second and third class, alternatively referred to as the Chief Order of the Golden Heart (CGH), Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH) and the Moran of the Order of the Golden Heart (MGH).

The Order of the Golden Heart is for the President of Kenya while EGH is the highest award granted civilians for their integrity, exemplary service or great accomplishments such as Eliud Kipchoge’s feat of becoming the first man to run a marathon under two hours.

Order of the Burning Spear

The order also has three classes, first class (Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear), second class (Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear) and third class (Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear.

The Order of the Burning Spear is given for distinguished services with the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) conferred on principal public dignitaries, exemplary members of the public service and other professionals.

Uhodari Media, as its Swahili name suggests, is conferred for the bravest and daring acts of valour, self-sacrifice or for extreme devotion to duty involving a great risk the performer.

The Uhodari Medal is the rarest of awards given in Kenya followed by the Chief of the Golden Heart of Kenya, the Moran of the Golden Heart of Kenya, the Elder of the Golden Heart of Kenya and the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear.

The criteria for identification, selection and declaration of heroes under the Kenya Heroes Act, 2014, is set to be based on: liberation struggle, spiritual leadership, Indigeous knowledge, cultural values and practices, arts, sports, scholarship, professionalism, research, peace-making, and statesmanship.

Other areas in which Kenyan residents can be recognised as heroes are for contributions in philanthropy, human rights, and environmental conservation