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High court judge rules ‘Moi Day’ is still a public holiday

Moi Day is still a public holiday which should be observed.

This is according to High Court judge George Odunga who has ruled that failure to mark October 10 as a public holiday is wrong.

But as if putting a disclaimer to his decision, the judge said that it is not up to the court to prescribe the manner in which it is to be celebrated.

The judge said that Parliament must amend the law, failure to which the said date will continue to be a public holiday.

He also said that regardless of his orders, the fact that Moi day has not been observed since after 2010 should not be considered as unlawful.

AN ILLEGALITY

“The order which commends itself to me which I hereby grant is a declaration that the omission to have October 10 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, ” Justice Odunga said.

“I further declare that unless Parliament amends Schedule 1 of the said Act or the minister substitutes the same for another date, October 10 in each year shall continue being a public holiday, ” he added.

The judge ruled in a case  filed by Mr Gragory Oriaro Nyaechi.

Mr Nyaechi had sued Cabinet Secretaries for Interior and the East Africa Community, Labour and social protection ministries as well as the Attorney General.

The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and the Central Organisation of Trade Union (COTU) were listed as interested parties in the case.

BLATANT IGNORANCE

According to Mr Nyaechi, the fact that the law has never been repealed is due to blatant ignorance .

He aslo claimed that there was a likelihood that employees would be denied their holiday entitlements since they sign a contract indicating their off days.

But the sued parties told court that there is no legal obligation to ensure a public holiday is observed.

In his ruling, the judge agreed with Mr Nyaechi that public holiday computation dictates legal time and affects contents of an employment contract.

He however said that there is a difference between a public holiday and a national holiday.