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Government rules out holiday during Pope's visit

23 November 2015, 09:23

Nairobi - State House Spokesman, Manoah Esipisu has ruled out a public holiday during Pope Francis’ visit to Nairobi.

Esipisu said that following deliberations with various stakeholders, it was agreed that Kenyans report to work as usual.

He however advised employers to create flexible work schedules for their employees, noting that traffic disruptions are expected during the three-day visit.

Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway, Waiyaki Way, Thika Road and Limuru Road will be closed.

Security has also been heightened in the city, with the government pledging to deploy as many as 10 000 police officers to boost security during the visit.

The pontiff will be in Nairobi from November 25 to 27, where he is expected to hold bilateral talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta before meeting senior government officials at the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

Read Also: Pope could miss Central African Republic visit

On Thursday, he will hold an inter-denominational prayer rally at UoN’s Chiromo campus before giving a message of home to 20 000 residents of Kangemi slum.

Later he will address young people in Kasarani Stadium before leaving for Uganda on Friday.

Bishop Alfred Rotich, who is heading the church's preparations in Kenya, said they were planning for a tenth of all Kenyan catholics to see the pope.

The church says almost a third of Kenyans are Catholic - some 14 million of 44 million people - although other estimates put the numbers of believers at around a fifth.

"We expect 10 percent of them, or 1.4 million from all over the country, to attend the papal high mass here in Nairobi," Rotich said, adding that the church was also expecting up to 60 cardinals, archbishops and bishops from across East Africa, with 9,000 extra priests drafted in to help.

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- News24


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