The Government is yet to declare whether Kenyans will celebrate Moi Day following last year’s High Court declaration of October 10 as a public holiday. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i was expected to gazette the day as a public holiday in line with the law and the court directive.
However, by yesterday the Government was yet to issue any direction. Our numerous calls and text messages to State House spokesperson Kanze Dena, Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia, Interior Affairs PS Karanja Kibicho and Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe went answered.
It will be the first time in seven years that the holiday will be marked should the Government abide by the court ruling. Last Friday, Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) told its members Wednesday would be a public holiday since the State was yet to challenge Justice George Odunga’s November 6, 2017 judgment. “The court orders have not been challenged and the Public Holidays Act has not been amended, and therefore October 10 each year shall continue being a public holiday,” FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo said. Moi Day was removed from the list of national holidays following the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010.
Odunga observed that although Moi Day was not a national day, the celebration of that day as a public holiday did not contravene the Constitution. The court had 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 c ountry’s second President Daniel arap Moi. Odunga ruled that failure to observe the day would be an illegality and breach of 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.”