Kimani Ichung’wah Proposes Scrapping Utamaduni Day As A Public Holiday

    Kimani Ichung’wah, the National Assembly Majority Leader and a Kikuyu MP, has proposed abolishing Utamaduni Day as a public holiday.

    The MP is seeking to amend the Public Holidays Act through the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No.2) Bill, 2023, which has been tabled in Parliament.

    “The bill proposes to amend the Public Holidays Act to delete the provision of Utamaduni Day as a public holiday,” reads part of the bill.

    Former President Uhuru Kenyatta established Utamaduni Day in 2019 to honour the late President Daniel Arap Moi.

    The holiday was proposed to replace Moi Day, which was celebrated on the same day as Utamaduni Day.

    The government initially renamed Boxing Day Utamaduni Day, but later decided to reassign the holiday to the former Moi Day. This was informed by global laws that state that a specific country cannot rename a globally recognised holiday.

    Utamaduni Day was first observed on December 26, 2019, but has since been observed on October 10, 2020.

    Moi Day was cancelled in 2017 after various publics raised concerns about its relevance. However, a court ruling ordered its reinstatement and renaming.

    The number of public holidays in the country has been a source of contention, with some leaders claiming the calendar contains too many holidays.

    Meanwhile, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has declared Monday, November 13 as a national holiday, prompting mixed reactions from Kenyans.

    If passed, Ichung’wah’s Bill will amend several statutes, including the Advocates Act, Traffic Act, Employment Act 2007, Sexual Offences Act 2006, Universities Act, Privatisation Act, Energy Act 2019, Copyright Act 2001, and Children’s Act 2022, among others.

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    A sole male applicant will be able to adopt a child under the new regulations under the Children’s Act 2022.