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BREAKING: Government declares Thursday a public holiday

24 November 2015, 11:08 Arap Yego

Nairobi - The Government has declared November 26 a Public Holiday and a National Day of Prayer and Reflection.

Statehouse Spokesman Manoah Esipisu Tuesday backtracked on his statement released on Sunday where he had revealed that there will be no public holiday when the Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, visits the country.

“The Government of Kenya has declared 26th November 2015 a Public Holiday and a National Day of Prayer and Reflection. As we are privileged to be hosting His Holiness the Pope at the time, he will set the tone for the day,” read a statement by Esipisu.

In the statement by Esipisu, he however did not elaborate what prompted the change of mind, considering that during the weekly briefing on Sunday, he had disclosed that after holding several deliberations with the organizers of the papal visit and other stakeholders, it was decided that Kenyans should report to work as usual.

"I know the question on everyone's mind is whether we will have a public holiday when the Pope visits Kenya. That is not envisioned,"  Esipisu said on Sunday.

Pope Francis will land at Jommo Kenyatta International Airport on November 25 where he will be received by President Uhuru Kenyatta who is a Catholic himself, and other senior Government officials and church leaders.

Read Also: Catholic faithful ready for pope visit

The Holy Father will later be hosted at State House by President Kenyatta, where they will hold bilateral talks and later the duo will make special address to the nation at the same venue.

On Thursday, the pontiff will have an inter-religious meeting at the Nuncio's residence (the Pope's representative in Kenya) and then head out to the University of Nairobi to celebrate Holy Mass. He will later on address the Catholic community at St Mary's and thereafter address members of the diplomatic corps at the United Nations in Gigiri.

On Friday, the last day of his visit, His Holiness will address youth from across the country at Kasarani stadium and thereafter visit Kangemi residents to assess the Catholic Church's work in the community.

The Pope’s maiden visit to Kenya will definitely to pose a logistical nightmare in Nairobi Business District, as over 1.4 Million people are expected to come for the papal mass.

According to Bishop Alfred Rotich who is charge of the Apostolic Voyage to Kenya by his Holiness There are 1 000 parishes in the country and every parish is expected to bring 3 buses of pilgrims. Not less than 4 000 buses and hundreds of personal cars  are expected in the CBD.

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- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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