The National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security has proposed making the Annual Prayer Breakfast Day a public holiday.
President William Ruto revealed this in a report to Parliament detailing measures taken and progress achieved in the realisation of national values and principles of governance.
Notably, the committee is proposing to have the holiday celebrated every January.
In his report, Ruto observed that the proposal was the result of a petition filed before the committee by a private citizen.
Members of parliament in the national assembly on Wednesday July 5, 2023.
Parliament of Kenya
“The committee considered a petition regarding the inclusion of National Prayer Day as a public holiday and recommended the amendment of Part 1 of the Schedule to the Public Holidays Act (Cap 110, Laws of Kenya) to include the Annual Prayer Breakfast Day as a public holiday and that the holiday be observed on a Saturday within the month of January,” read the report in part.
In his petition, the private citizen who lobbied for the move argued that despite taking pride in the annual event, Kenyans have not been feeling involved, necessitating a change.
The event is usually organised by Parliament with the President, Deputy President, and opposition leaders invited to the function.
The petitioner explained that such events could strengthen national cohesion and bring Kenyans together regardless of their backgrounds.
He also argued that the day would be the perfect window for Kenyans across the board to seek divine intervention on matters affecting the country.
“History in Kenya indicated and pointed out various victories achieved when a country prays together and gave examples like in 1997 when the late His Excellency Daniel Arap Moi called upon the country to pray for rain, at Uhuru Park and when people left it rained.
“The petitioner also added that in the Holy Book, every time people prayed and repented, God restored and healed their land,” the committee reported.
Should the Act be amended in Parliament, the Prayer Day holiday will become the first religious holiday celebrated by all Kenyans.
Different groups observe diverse religious holidays in accordance with their respective religious guidelines and timelines.
ODM leader Raila Odinga hosts orphans at a Christmas party in Kisumu on Friday, December 24, 2021.