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Kiambu Senator calls for legalization of two day public holidays

Kiambu County Senator Karungo wa Thang’wa on Thursday, June 1, 2023, proposed that a change be made on how public holidays affect days of the week. He spoke on the day Kenya was celebrating its 60th Madaraka Day.

Senator Thang’wa, proposed that if a public holiday fell on a Tuesday or Thursday, the days preceding and following them should also be considered public holidays.

“I have a story, and it’s not a jaba – joke – story. This Madaraka Day falls on a Thursday, which means no work on Thursday but we have work on Friday. Now work on Saturday, no work on Sunday. What if we were to propose this Friday (the day after Madaraka Day 2023), we were to tell the government, ‘make it a holiday’ so that we can have four days straight. What if somebody would say, “Why didn’t you say this earlier?” I have a better idea.”

“This is December 2023. Jamuhuri Day falls on a Tuesday. So assuming again, you are in Kisumu- and I’m just using Kisumu as an example, nothing fishy. On Saturday you are in Kisumu with your loved ones. Sunday you are in Kisumu, but you have to come to work on Monday. Then go back again on Tuesday. I mean, it’s not viable. But what if we tell the government to make Monday also a public holiday?” began Senator Thang’wa.

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He said he had just introduced to Kenyans his amendment bill, the Public Holidays Amendment Bill, that says where a public holiday falls on a Tuesday, the preceding day also becomes a public holiday. If it fell on a Thursday, then the following day should also be a public holiday.

“If this law was effective from January 2023, this year alone could have only affected three days,” said Senator Thang’wa as he listed Madaraka, Huduma, and Jamhuri Days, which fall in the middle of the week this year.

He went on, “Just imagine the economic value that will bring. When I thought about it, I thought it was an original idea, only to do my research and find that some countries like Philippines do exactly that,” added Senator Thang’wa.

He went on to say that the reason behind the holiday economics was to give workers ample time off to rest, prioritize their well-being, and have time for family, celebrate traditions, and travel which will support economic growth and domestic tourism when they go on longer trips.

“That is why I request you to request your Member of Parliament and Senator to support my amendment bill,” concluded Senator Thang’wa.

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