By Suleiman Hassan
Kenyan’s were treated to a rare spectacle after spotting US President Barack Obama’s motorcade, including his limo “The Beast” as it refueled at a Westlands petrol station in the capital Nairobi on Wednesday afternoon.
Motorists and pedestrians thronged Shell petrol station opposite Sankara Hotel to take pictures of the high-end vehicles.
Vivo Energy, owners of the Petrol station could not as well hide their joy at fueling their most high profile car ever.
“The Beast, is this one of the most high-profile vehicles to have ever fueled at our Shell service points? Probably.” The company said on its Twitter page.
The convoy reportedly began its journey from the Jomo Kenyatta International airport and snaked its way through city center using Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way with police escort in what is believed to be a drill on the routes Obama will use during his stay.
Local police announced the same roads will be closed at different times on Friday and Saturday as Obama travels around the city.
A similar scene was witnessed on Wednesday as Obama’s Marine One helicopter landed at the Kenyatta University Amphitheater, causing excitement.
The helicopter, and four US marine choppers which escorted it, arrived for a drill in preparation for Obama’s public lecture whose date and time have not been confirmed.
Marine One is the official US president helicopter carrier for trips within a country; this means Obama will mostly use it, not “The Beast”.
The Marine One was escorted to KU by V22 Osprey helicopters.
The V-22 Osprey is designed specifically for Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the air transportation unit charged with shuttling the president and top administration officials around the world.
Obama and President Uhuru Kenyatta will hold bilateral talks at State House, Nairobi and address a joint press conference on Saturday afternoon.
The two leaders will co-host the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit at UN Gigiri and Obama will give an address at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on Sunday.
Additional reporting by The Star.