Senate Rejects Proposal for 4-Day Weekend on Specific Public Holidays

January 16, 2024

The Senate’s National Security, Defense, and Foreign Relations Committee has rejected a proposal by Muranga Senator Karungo Thang’wa to extend certain public holidays.

The Public Holidays (Amendment) Bill, 2023 sought to extend long weekends when a public holiday falls on either Tuesday or Thursday.

Thangwa’s proposed amendment suggested that when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday, the preceding day (Monday) should also be designated as a public holiday.

Similarly, if a public holiday falls on a Thursday, the succeeding day (Friday) should also be considered a public holiday.

Senator Thang’wa argued that his proposed legislation’s primary aim was to prioritize the welfare of Kenyan workers and breathe new life into the tourism industry.

“Public holidays are designed to provide workers with time off from their jobs to rest and recharge, spend time with family and friends, and celebrate important events or traditions, and are often associated with travel and tourism,” the proposed amendment reads in part.

The lawmaker added that the extension of public holidays can contribute to ensuring that employees have ample time to thoroughly relish their time away from work and attend to both their physical and mental well-being.

“Public holidays also seek to support economic growth, as they are often associated with travel and tourism, and extending public holidays may encourage Kenyans to take longer trips or visit destinations farther away from their homes. Essentially, such an extension would promote the hospitality and tourism industries,” Thang’wa pointed out.

But the committee chaired by Baringo lawmaker William Cheptumo argued that creating more public holidays would negatively impact the country’s struggling economy.

The Committee reiterated that extending public holidays could potentially decrease business working days, resulting in reduced output across various sectors and a lack of income for the majority of Kenyans who depend on daily wages.

Don't Miss