The high court has today ruled that Moi Day is still a public holiday which should be observed. According to High Court judge George Odunga failure to observe October 10 as a public holiday is wrong.
The judge said that Parliament must amend the law, failure to which the said date will continue to be a public holiday.
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 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 was ruling in a case filed by Mr Gragory Oriaro Nyaechi. According to Mr Nyaechi, the fact that the law has never been repealed is due to blatant ignorance.
He also 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 which include Cabinet Secretaries for Interior and the East Africa Community, Labour and social protection ministries as well as the Attorney General 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.