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


Interior CS Fred Matiang'i
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i

In Summary

  • The CS, however, noted that the government could not give direction on how Moi Day will be celebrated as its not among the national days recognised under Article 9(3) of the Constitution.
  • High Court judge justice George Odunga in his ruling on November 8, 2017 said the scrapping of Moi Day is an illegality and was in contravention of the law.

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

In a statement to newsrooms, Dr. Matiang’i on Monday said: “In Judicial Review No. 292 of 2017  the Court affirmed that the 10th of October remains a public holiday to be observed as such. Going by this decision therefore 10th of October shall be a public holiday.”

The CS, however, noted that the government could not give direction on how Moi Day will be celebrated as its not among the national days recognised under Article 9(3) of the Constitution.

“The framers of our Constitution wisely stated in Article 9(3) that we shall celebrate our National heroes in one day – namely Mashujaa Day – which is set for 20th October each year.  By that decision they renamed Kenyatta Day, Mashujaa Day and invited the country to recognise our other heroes alongside the Founding Father of our Nation, on that day.

“…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 shall be celebrated'” said Matiang’i.

High Court judge justice George Odunga in his ruling on November 8, 2017 said the scrapping of Moi Day is an illegality and was 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.

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.

 

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