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Uhuru mulling on declaring a national holiday during Pope’s visit

The government is considering whether to declare a public holiday during the Pope’s visit.

“Many of you have asked whether the Government will declare November 26 and 27 public holidays. The Government is looking at the options in this matter and will make a decision based on what works best for the country,” said State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu..

He was accompanied by Rt. Reverend Bishop Alfred Rotich, the chairman of the secretariat handling the Pope’s visit.

Some 10,000 police officers will be deployed during Pope Francis’ visit to Kenya, which is two weeks away.

An additional 10,000 National Youth Service (NYS) personnel will be deployed to assist in crown control, Mr Esipisu said on Sunday.

Mr Esipisu said they are expecting one million people to join Nairobi residents in welcoming the Pope, who is scheduled to arrive in the country on November 25 and stay up to November 27.

“A million people, possibly occupying every space from the University of Nairobi graduation grounds to Uhuru Park. Literarily, covering the grounds from the Museum roundabout to Haile Selassie round about. That explains security deployment numbers,” Mr Esipisu said.

He said the government is working closely with the Catholic Church to pull off a “very successful experience for the Pope”.

Mr Esipisu said the Inspector General of Police had confirmed that security agencies are ready to receive the Pope and the operations will involve the Kenya Police Service, the Kenya Prisons and the NYS.