What has changed? This is the big question Kenyans are asking after acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i stated that Friday will not be a public holiday yet his predecessor, the late
In a press statement on Wednesday, Dr Matiang’i explained that Idd-Ul-Adha, which will be celebrated this Friday, is listed as a Muslim holiday and not a public holiday.
The CS added that plans were under way for the government to present a Bill in Parliament to make it a national public holiday.
Strangely, while Dr Matiang’i cuts a picture of his hands being tied, in 2016, his predecessor gazetted Idd-Ul-Adha as a public holiday to mark the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.
“It is notified for the general information of the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Public Holidays Act, declares that Monday, the 12th September 2016 be a public holiday to mark Idd-ul-Adha,” wrote Gen (rtd) Nkaissery last year.
This year, Dr Matiang’i simply urged employers to allow their Muslim employees a day off to mark the annual holiday, also called the Sacrifice of the Feast.
“Adherents of Islam religion will celebrate the day and therefore employers should allow them to be away from work. For non-Muslims this will be a normal working day,” said Dr Matiang’i.
Hajj is an annual and mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims.
It is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, and Sawm.
The pilgrims shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three-day global festival of Idd-ul-Adha.
Interior CS says Idd Ul Adha not a national holiday.