Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has announced that October 10 will be a public holiday. Responding to increasing public debate on the issue following a court ruling last year, Matiang’i, however, said the holiday, previously marked as Moi Day is not recognised under the Constitution.
He added that the ministry was in the process of making proposals to Parliament for the comprehensive review of the Public Holidays Act but was caught up with time.
“The review will address all outstanding matters with respect to public holidays and embrace the spirit of the Constitution on how our heroes will be celebrated. Finally, owing to the elaborate celebrations lined up for all our heroes on Mashujaa Day ( 20th of October), I make no pronouncement on the manner in which 10th of October will be celebrated,” said Dr Matiang’i.
He noted that the only public holidays recognised by the Constitution are Madaraka Day, Mashujaa Day and Jamhuri Day, adding that the Public Holidays Act was enacted before the 2010 Constitution became effective.
“It is worth mentioning the fact that as an emerging economy, we need to optimally utilise our time working and building the Nation and this might have advised reduction of public holidays through those amendments. In light of the Preamble of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, were we as the people of Kenya enacted and adopted the Constitution to ourselves and the future generations, we need to take pride in advancing economic advancement and the well being of families and communities,” he said.
Moi Day was first marked in 1989 to celebrate former President Moi’s 10 years in office. However, two years before he retired in 2002, he decreed that the day be celebrated by helping the unfortunate people in society.
In his ruling, Justice George Odunga observed that unless Parliament changes the law to scrap it or the Interior CS substitutes it with another fete, Kenyans would still observe the day meant to honour the country’s second President.
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