Atheists want Thursday’s public holiday nullified

Atheists want Thursday’s public holiday nullified

Kenyan Atheists have, through their President Harrison Nyende Mumia, moved to the High Court to challenge the gazette notice by the government declaring Thursday 26th a public holiday.

The Atheists say the government acted contrary to Article 32 of the constitution that states: “a person shall not be compelled to act or engage in any act that is contrary to the person’s belief or religion.”

The atheists are contesting the infringement of rights to region and, therefore, asking the court to declare the nullity of the said notice pending hearing and determination of the suit.

The case is yet to be heard.

On Tuesday, the Government declared Thursday, November 26th, 2015 a public holiday and a national day of prayer and reflection.

This came just two days after State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu indicated there would be no public holiday during Pope Francis’ visit to Kenya starting Wednesday and instead urged employers to give their employees flexible working hours.

In a statement to newsrooms, Esipisu said that Thursday, when the Pope is scheduled to hold a public mass at the University of Nairobi grounds, would be a national day of prayer and reflection.

Pope Francis will land in Nairobi on Wednesday at 5PM and is scheduled to immediately meet President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.

Major roads will be closed in the city for the better part of Thursday and Friday to facilitate the Pope’s movement while in Nairobi.

Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome announced that the roads will be closed from as early as 4AM on Thursday and Friday to facilitate smooth movement of the Pontiff in the city, especially on Thursday when the pope will lead a mass at the University of Nairobi grounds from 10:00AM.

Koome was speaking at the Nyayo National Stadium before joining Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett in a security meeting ahead of the Papal visit.

Upon arrival, the Pope will head straight to State House for a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Pope will also visit Kangemi slum on Friday morning, before meeting the youth at the Kasarani stadium on Friday afternoon.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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