Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang’i has grumblingly declared October 10th, popularly referred to as “Moi day” a public holiday.
The CS has maintained that the only national holidays recognized by the constitution are Mashujaa (‘Heroes Day’), Madaraka (‘Freedom Day’) and Jamhuri day (Republic Day’).
“Kenyans should note that the Public Holidays Act was enacted before the effective date of the constitution of Kenya 2010 (27th August 2010) and 10th October is not among the national days recognized under article 9 (3) of the constitution,” Matiang’I said in a statement.
Matiang’i further said that Kenyans should optimally utilize time to build the economy and not to indulge in numerous public holidays.
The CS, however, concluded that in accordance with a 2017 court ruling reinstating Moi Day as a public holiday, he, therefore, gazettes the holiday as such.
‘MOI DAY’ RESTORED
Moi Day, formerly held on October 10, was removed from the list of national holidays after the 2010 constitution came into effect but in November 2017, Judge George Odunga ruled to have the holiday restored arguing that celebration of Moi Day as a public holiday would not be in contravention of Kenya’s Constitution.
In his ruling, Justice Odunga said that the administrative decision to drop the public holiday denied Kenyan workers the right to take a day off and receive allowances on that day and that by not observing it as a national holiday breached the Public Holidays Act.
“I hereby grant a declaration that omission to have the 10th day of October observed as a public holiday is an illegality. I further declare that unless Parliament amends the Act or the minister substitutes for another date, October 10 shall, in each year, continue being a public holiday“, Judge Odunga ruled.
Moi day celebrates retired president Daniel Arap Moi who serve, or ruled, depending on your point of view, as Kenya’s second President from 1978 to 2002, having previously been the country’s third Vice-President from 1967 to 1978.