NAIROBI 8th Nov. 2017: The High Court has restored 10th of October, which was formally known as Moi Day, as a public holiday.
Justice George Odunga in his ruling on Wednesday, said the scrapping of Moi Day is an illegality and was in contravention of the law.
“I hereby grant a declaration that the omission to have the 10th day of October 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,” stated Odunga in part of his ruling.
The judge, nonetheless, gave an outline on how Moi Day can be formally scrapped.
“Unless and until parliament amends Schedule 1 of the said Act or the minister substitutes the same for another date, the 10th of October in each year shall continue being a public holiday,” the Judge said.
Justice Odunga however declined to prescribe the manner in which the holiday should be commemorated leaving it at the discretion of the Interior CS.
The orders were issued after an aggrieved Kenyan, Gregory Nyauchi, moved to court to challenge the desicion to stop observing Moi Day as a public holiday.
According to the petitioner, the scrapping of the holiday had the ripple effect of denying employees their entitlement as provided in the Employment Act.
The court noted that if parliament was of the view that Moi Day ought not to continue being considered as a public holiday nothing would have been easier than for it to amend the Act accordingly.
“By not doing so and subjecting Kenyans to toll on a day the law expressly provides ought to be a public holiday amounts to a violation of their right unless the exception is section 5 of the public Holiday act apply,” ruled Odunga.
Moi Day was struck out of the public holidays list in 2010 following the promulgation of the new Constitution.
The holiday had been celebrated since 1988, when President Daniel arap Moi was marking 10 years in power.