Today is Moi Day in Kenya. Under Chapter 110 of the laws of the country, October 10 of each year is recognised as a public holiday since the year 1989 when it was passed into law by parliament during KANU's rule.
However, since Moi’s retirement in 2002, the day has become a low key event without the traditional military marches, fly-overs and traditional choirs at all provincial and district headquarters.
Instead, most Kenyans stay away from school, work and their businesses or stay at home even as they wait for yet another public holiday on October 20 known as Kenyatta Day. Moi himself says Kenyans should reflect on this day by helping the less fortunate in society (sic). Walking through Nairobi Wests' Birongo Square today, the picture one gets looks more like a car wash / beer drinking day.
This month alone Kenya will have three public holidays given that Muslims celebrated they Idd Ul Fitr just last last week. Hindis also have their Diwali in October. The Hindi faith is a major employer in Kenya.
Whereas it is quite in order for humans to have adequate rest periods for purposes of health and safety and also to allow necessary participation in family, recreational, social and political activities, I have tried to figure out the relevance of these two public holidays and to be quite honest, I cannot see any benefit Kenyans get out of them.
Not only are the two October holidays a regrettable waste of resources and man-hours, they are also complete waste of time which is a tragic reality considering the gigantic task involved in turning this country around. I believe it is high time parliament relieved Kenyans of the huge burden arising out of these two holidays. If parliament sees it necessary that Kenyatta Day be retained because of historical significance, then I can only suggest that it be renamed Heroes Day or Wazalendo Day or whatever, but just not to name it to one individual who caused Kenya more harm than good in their life time.
On the other hand, the origins and current purpose of Moi Day does not provide any value addition to the Kenyan of today. Moi Day was made legal as a result of the egoistic nature of the then President who wanted to feel at par with his own predecessor (Kenyatta) who had a day (October 20) named after him. Moi even went as far as christening just about any public institution in his own name.
These are some of the favours that Hon Linturi and Hon Ababu should be extending to Kenyans in the 10th parliament au sio jamaa?