State rules out public holiday for Papal visit

The government has ruled out a public holiday to coincide with the Pope’s three-day historic visit to Kenya on Wednesday, exposing Nairobi residents to major traffic disruptions on key roads.

State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu yesterday said that employers and businesses will instead have to adjust their working schedules on Thursday and Friday.

The government had two weeks ago hinted at granting Kenyans a holiday to enable them follow the Pope Francis-led mass in the country while sparing them hassles from the security lockdown on city roads.

“It is not envisaged to have a holiday on either of the (affected) days,” Mr Esipisu told the Press yesterday.

“The government urges employers to work out flexible hours for their staff.”

Pope Francis will arrive in the country on Wednesday afternoon, marking his first visit to Africa.


There will be a lockdown on Mombasa Road as the Pope makes his way to State House in Nairobi where he will hold a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta before making a public address to the nation.

Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said adequate security arrangements had been made.

Traffic disruptions are expected on city roads like Uhuru Highway, Kenyatta Avenue, State House Road, Waiyaki Way, Limuru Road and Thika Highway during his three-day visit.

On Thursday, the Pope will hold a mass at the University of Nairobi and thereafter hold a meeting with clergy, priests and nuns at St Mary’s School in Lavington before proceeding to make an address at the Unep headquarters in Gigiri.

The Pope will leave the country on Friday after a mass at St John the Worker Church in Kangemi and a meeting with youth and bishops at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani, Nairobi.