Gov’t confirms Thursday a public holiday to mark Moi Day

Gov’t confirms Thursday a public holiday to mark Moi Day
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i speaks during the NACADA Strategic Plan launch on September 30, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i has announced that Thursday, October 10 will be a public holiday as directed in a High Court ruling issued in November 2017.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Dr. Matiang’i said: “In line with the provisions of the Public Holidays Act (Cap 110, Laws of Kenya) and the decision of the court in Judicial Review No. 292 of 2017 (Republic v Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security Ex Parte G O Nyauchi & 4 Others) it is hereby confirmed that 10th October 2019 will be a public holiday.”

The CS encouraged Kenyans to mark October 10 “with selfless acts of service to their community that seek to promote patriotism, national unity, social justice, cohesion and sustainable development in their communities for the benefit of present and future generations.”

Moi Day was struck out of the public holidays list in 2010 following the promulgation of the new Constitution.

The holiday had been celebrated since 1988, when President Daniel arap Moi was marking 10 years in power.

However, High Court judge justice George Odunga in his ruling on November 8, 2017 said the scrapping of Moi Day was an illegality and had been done in contravention of the law.

“I hereby grant a declaration that the omission to have the 10th day of October observed as a public holiday is an illegality and in contravention of Section 2(1) as read with part 1 of the schedule to the Public Holidays Act,” stated Odunga in part of his ruling.

The judge, nonetheless, gave an outline on how Moi Day can be formally scrapped.

“Unless and until parliament amends Schedule 1 of the said Act or the minister substitutes the same for another date, the 10th of October in each year shall continue being a public holiday,” the Judge said.

The orders were issued after an aggrieved Kenyan, Gregory Nyauchi, moved to court to challenge the decision to stop observing Moi Day as a public holiday.

According to the petitioner, the scrapping of the holiday denied employees their entitlement as provided in the Employment Act.

The court noted that if parliament was of the view that Moi Day ought not to continue being considered as a public holiday it would have amended the Act accordingly.

“By not doing so and subjecting Kenyans to toll on a day the law expressly provides ought to be a public holiday amounts to a violation of their right unless the exception is section 5 of the public Holiday act apply,” ruled Odunga.


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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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