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October 10: Moi, Utamaduni or Huduma Day?

Kenyans are celebrating a public holiday on October 10, 2022.

But is it Moi Day, Huduma Day, or Utamaduni Day?

The confusion commenced when political leaders sent out goodwill messages on their socials while referring to the holiday either as Utamaduni Day or Huduma Day.

The messages come a few days after outgoing Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i announced the day as a Public Holiday via a Gazette Notice.

Matiang’i referred to the holiday as Utamaduni Day aimed at recognizing the rich cultural diversity of the country.

“It is hereby notified that Monday, 10th October 2022 will be a public holiday (Utamaduni Day),” said Dr. Matiang’i.

So what about Huduma Day?

On December 19, 2019, the cabinet of former president Uhuru Kenyatta approved the renaming of Moi Day to Huduma Day, and also made a proposal to amend the Public Holidays Act (Cap 109), renaming Boxing Day which falls on December 26th to Utamaduni Day.

The changes were subject to approval from the Parliament.

However, Huduma Day was later renamed Utamaduni Day in December 2020 and was first celebrated in 2021 after being gazetted by Dr Matiang’i, and December 26, which is Boxing Day, was not changed since it was internationally recognized.

“This was in line with the provision of Sections 2 and 4 of the Public Holidays Act (Cap 110). It is hereby confirmed that 11th October 2021 will be a Public Holiday, by dint of Utamaduni Day falling on Sunday 10th October 2021,” Dr Matiang’i said in 2021.

In 2020, former Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale, tabled a proposal to amend the Public Holidays Act, which was approved by Parliament, hence renaming Moi day to Utamaduni Day.

The Huduma Day was not approved, hence, not recognized.

So Utamaduni Day it is.

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