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No public holiday in Kenya during Pope Francis’s visit

By Mercy Adhiambo | Published Mon, November 23rd 2015 at 00:00, Updated November 23rd 2015 at 08:05 GMT +3

There will be no public holiday when the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, visits the country.

In a media briefing, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said after holding several deliberations with the organisers 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," said Mr Esipisu.

He, however, noted that since there will be disruptions on routes leading to the central business district (CBD), employers should come up with flexible working schedules that would ensure their employees are not inconvenienced as they make their way to work.

"We all know some major roads will be closed, and this means that getting to town will be difficult. Employers will have to be understanding and create a flexible working schedule. It only makes sense that they do," said Esipisu.

The Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinnet, assured the public that security has been heightened ahead of the visit.

"This is an extremely important event to us, and we are ready for the Holy Father and his entourage. All routes, venues that he will be using have been secured," said Mr Boinnet.

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He added that Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway, Waiyaki Way, Thika Road and Limuru Road are among the major roads that will be closed to facilitate easy movement not only for the Pope, but for other visitors who will be attending the events to be presided over by the Pope.

Boinnet urged drivers to co-operate with the police who will be directing traffic.

Bishop Alfred Rotich urged employers to release their staff so that they can engage in the Papal Discourse with the youth at Safaricom Stadium.

"In a message to Kenya, the Pope has said he hopes to meet as many young Kenyans as possible. Employers should allow young people a day off so that they can show up in large numbers," said Rotich.

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