Of late, the famous Moi Day Celebration in Kenya has been marred with a lot of controversies. For instance, following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in August 2010, Moi Day was removed from the list of Kenyan national holidays. However, On November 8, 2017, The High Court restored 10th October, as a public holiday.
Eventually, Justice George Odunga in his ruling on Wednesday, November 8, 2019, said the scrapping of Moi Day is illegality. And was in contravention of the law. Therefore, on 8th October 2018, CS Matiang’ i announced the Public Holiday comeback.
However, on Thursday 19th, 2019, the Kenyan Cabinet under President Uhuru Kenyatta renamed Moi Day to Huduma Day. Even after being reinstated by the court last year following a petition by a concerned Kenyan.
Why do Kenyans celebrate Moi Day?
Because the second president of Kenya Mzee Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi has a day named after him. And even so, declared a public holiday, just like the first president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta did. A look around Kenya and its institutions are a testament to that vanity.
Legend has it that the month of August has 31 days because Caesar Augustus wanted his month to be as long as Julius Caesar’s. Fast forward to 1989, leave the Roman Empire for the Republic of Kenya and history repeats itself.
In a vain attempt at immortality, the two Presidents stamped their names across the country in its various institutions. Making themselves felt temporal by dedicating days and insinuated themselves into every monetary transaction. But, roads become potholed, the currency is worn through and statues decay and crumble.
Why rename Moi Day as Huduma Day?
As of today, Moi Day (renamed Huduma Day) is a public holiday in Kenya that is Celebrated on October 10 to honor the former Kenyan President Daniel Moi. It was introduced in 1988 to honor the former Kenyan leader who retired in 2002 after ruling the East African nation for 24 years.
Eventually, Kenya had been marking the holiday since 1988. When President Daniel Moi marked 10 years in power before it was scrapped in 2010. The High Court reinstated the day to be marked as a holiday. On grounds, its removal was in contravention of the Public Holidays Act.
Is renaming Moi Day as Huduma Day important?
Of course, not as received by a part of the Kenyan elites who feel that renaming Moi Day is “Meaningless.”
In the end, the decision by the Cabinet to rename Moi Day to Huduma Day has not been well received by a section of Kenyans. Whereby, for example, former Permanent Secretary Prof James Ole Kiyiapi dismissed the move terming it “Meaningless.”
Notably, upon the renaming, Prof James Ole Kiyiapi, who also contested for the presidency in 2013 was not a happy man. Insisting that the decision is meaningless to Kenyans.
“HUDUMA DAY? Every day is a DAY to serve! Another meaningless policy. Looking forward a day when we focus more on truly revolutionary ideas,” he said.
Why was Boxing Day renamed Utamaduni Day?
By the same token, under the proposals to amend the Public Holidays Act (Cap 109), the Cabinet also approved the renaming of Boxing Day which falls on December 26 to Utamaduni Day. But, important to realize, Boxing Day is an international holiday.
Basically, the loose translation for the Swahili name ‘Utamaduni‘ is Culture. Thursday 19th, 2019 saw the approval of renaming Boxing Day. In particular, celebrated on 26 December, renamed to ‘Utamaduni’ Day.