Mazingira Day in Kenya in 2024

Mazingira Day in Kenya in 2024
Tsavo East National Park, Kenya. Image by schwerin , via 123RF
  How long until Mazingira Day?
Mazingira Day
  Dates of Mazingira Day in Kenya
2025 Kenya Fri, Oct 10 National Holiday
2024 Kenya Thu, Oct 10 National Holiday
2023 Kenya Tue, Oct 10 National Holiday
2022 Kenya Mon, Oct 10 National Holiday
2021 Kenya Mon, Oct 11 National Holiday (in lieu)

A day for all Kenyans to participate in environment conservation activities.

When is Mazingira Day?

President William Ruto has assented into law an Act recognising Mazingira Day as a Public Holiday.

According to the Act, Mazingira Day will be observed as a national holiday on October 10th every year substituting other names which were used to mark that day as a public holiday.

How is Mazingira Day Celebrated?

While reading the context of the introduction of Mazingira Day, the Clerk of the National Assembly noted that it would replace Utamaduni Day.

The Clerk of the National Assembly added that Mazingira Day aligns with President Ruto's plan to conserve the environment through the planting of trees.

"The other Act which is being amended is the Public Holiday Act. Remember Moi Day which transited into Huduma Day then after Utamaduni Day," he stated.

"The proposal now which is contained in this Act is to call that day, Mazingira Day. The National Assembly was informed that Mazingira Day encompasses aspects of Huduma, our traditions which were in Utamaduni and now it is in accord with the government's idea of climate change mitigation," he added.

Utamaduni Day public holiday on October 10th has been renamed Mazingira Day after President William Ruto assented to the Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2024.

The Mazingira Day shall therefore be a day for all Kenyans to participate in environment conservation activities including tree planting in line with the government’s efforts towards accelerating forest restoration and ensuring that 15 Billion trees are planted by 2032 in seeking to address the effects of climate change.

On November 13th 2023, the government through the Interior Ministry declared the day a national holiday. In a gazette notice, Kindiki directed Kenyans to utilise the day in planting trees.

The holiday sparked discussions with some lawmakers arguing that it should permanently remain a public holiday. 

However, in the latest Act, the issue seems to have been solved by officially recognising the Mazingira Day.

Previously it was celebrated to honour Daniel Arap Moi, who was the former president of Kenya. Until 2020, this holiday was called Moi Day. It was renamed as Huduma Day, and then Utamaduni Day in December 2020.

History of Mazingira Day

Utamaduni Day

Utamaduni Day celebrated Kenya's cultural diversity and provided a platform for Kenyans to appreciate the over 44 ethnic groups in the country. The celebration also fostered national unity and cohesion, promoted the spirit of service and volunteerism, and marked a shift in focus from honouring an individual to celebrating the rich cultural diversity that defines Kenya.

The day was observed through national prayers that highlighted service and volunteerism to the community. The day also provided an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate traditional Kenyan cuisine.

Moi Day

Daniel Arap Moi was the second president of Kenya and the country's longest-serving head of state, ruling from 1973 - 2002.

Moi Day is celebrated on October 10th to mark his coming to power after the death in August 1978 of founding president Jomo Kenyatta.

Moi died on February 4th 2020, at the age of 95.

Moi Day was removed from the list of Kenya national holidays following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in August 2010. 

However, it was reinstated in 2017 following a court ruling by the Supreme court, which reversed the decision of the parliament. Justice George Odunga said the 2010  nullification of Moi Day was a contravention of Public Holidays Act.

Justice Odunga noted that if parliament was of the view that Moi Day ought not to continue being considered as a public holiday, they should have amended the Act accordingly.

"I declare that unless and until Parliament amends Schedule 1 of the said Act or the minister substitutes the same for another date, the 10th of October in each year shall continue being a Public Holiday."

Judge Odunga said Parliament had been wrong for not making amendments and forcing Kenyans to "toil on a day the law expressly directs to be a public holiday amounts to a violation of their rights unless the exception in section 5 of the Public Holiday Acts applies".

The ruling followed a case which was filed by Gregory Nyauchi against the Cabinet Secretaries for Interior, East Africa Community, Labour, and the Attorney General.

The University of Nairobi’s School of Law graduate said he was motivated to go to court to make a point that all Kenyans are equal before the law. 

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