Huduma or Utamaduni day? Moi Day renamed twice between 2019 and 2020.

Blood donation

Mombasa residents donate blood during a free medical camp organised by Ganjoni Hospital at the Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa to mark the Utamaduni Day celebrations in this photo taken on October 10, 2022.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit I Nation Media Group

In 2019, what was known to many Kenyans over the years as Moi Day was renamed.

At the time, Kenyans were informed the day will known as Huduma Day and would be marked as a public holiday through prayer and community work.

It is then that the outgoing Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i encouraged Kenyans to participate in the prayers and promote national unity, social justice, cohesion and sustainable development in their communities for the benefit of present and future generations.

Before this, there had been confusion on whether October 10, observed as Moi Day,  remains a public holiday.

A Judicial Review in the Case No 292 of 2017 (Republic v Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security Ex Parte G O Nyauchi & 4 others) gave light on the matter, when the court declared that the day remains a public holiday.

This is what led to its renaming as Huduma Day.

But the October 7, 2022 press release by Dr Matiang'i declared this day as Utamaduni day, causing confusion among Kenyans on the exact occasion was to be marked.

In the press release, Dr Matiang'i was making the declaration in line with Sections 2(1) and 4 and Part One of the Schedule of Public Holidays Act (Cap 110).

He also alluded to the declaration of the High Court of November 6, 2017 (Judicial Review 292 of 2017) that ruled that October 10 remains a public holiday.

In 2019, Dr Matiang'i said Huduma Day (October 10, 2019) would be marked as a public holiday through prayer and community work.

And in 2022, he said it would be marked as Utamaduni Day and asked Kenyans to honour the day by recognising and celebrating the rich cultural diversity of Kenya.

Since then, Kenyans have been asking about the day with others producing timelines of events showing public/national holidays.

One such timeline shows Huduma Day is to be marked as service to others on October 10 while Utamaduni Day is to be observed as cultural celebrations every December 26.

But a timeline of events on indicates that it is Utamaduni Day that is marked on October 10 to celebrate the country's rich cultural heritage and diversity.

It is here that it is explained that the then Moi Day was renamed Huduma Day and later Utamaduni Day in December 2020.