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Why I brought back Moi Day public holiday – city lawyer

Gregory Oriaro Nyauchi is the lawyer who in May last year filed a case to have Moi Day reinstated as a public holiday.

He succeeded in doing so after High Court Judge George Odunga ruled that October 10 should remain a public holiday.

In his ruling, Justice Odunga said that unless Parliament changes the law to scrap it or the Cabinet Secretary for Interior substitutes it with another fete, Kenyans will still observe this day.

However Justice Odunga declined to rule on how Kenyans should celebrate the day, a fact that has since plunged many into confusion on how the day that was meant to honour Kenya’s second President Daniel Moi should be marked.

But Nyauchi has quite a number of suggestions.

Many are still confused on how this holiday should be marked. Since you’re mainly responsible for this day, any suggestions?

Yes! People should spend time with family and friends and relax. In the process of doing this, they should also give some thought about the country.

This should give Kenyans a chance to reflect on a number of issues affecting the country at the moment including economic hardships, tribalism and uncertainty about the constitution.

I know many people are asking themselves what pushed you to go through all the troubles just to get a public holiday reinstated. What was you motivation?

The law was my motivation. The law is not just for the citizens to follow it but also the government has an obligation to do so. This was meant to be a lesson to the government.

Apart from that, most Kenyan employees are denied their holiday entitlements since they sign a contract indicating their off days; thus public holidays give them a chance to rest. Perhaps I’ll start receiving thank you messages after people feel it tomorrow.

Have you received any thank you messages from some employees?

Not officially, but at least my friends keep saying they are going to buy me drinks tonight.

You know a holiday means there’s no money-making for many employers. Any messages from them complaining about you ruining their businesses?

Not really. But even if there were, I thought the court would have been the best avenue to air he grievances since the The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) was listed as interested parties in the case.