20,000 security officers to be deployed for Papal visit

November 8, 2015 1:21 pm
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State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the government is looking into whether employers can provide flexible schedules for their employees to be productive/FILE
State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the government is looking into whether employers can provide flexible schedules for their employees to be productive/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – The government is considering whether to grant Kenyans a two-day public holiday to allow them celebrate the three day Papal visit.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the government is looking into whether employers can provide flexible schedules for their employees to be productive.

“Many of you have asked whether the Government will declare November 26 and 27 public holidays. The answer is that, the Government is deeply seized with the matter and a decision should be made in the coming days. The Government is looking at the options in this matter and will make a decision based on what works best for the country. One of the options is whether to ask employees, especially in Nairobi, to look at flexi working hours on the crucial days,” he said.

Esipisu said the twenty thousand security officers drawn from the Kenya Police Service, the Kenya Prisons and the National Youth Service are among agencies mobilizing for the event.

He cautioned Nairobi residents to brace for major traffic flow interruptions.

“I have to warn in advance that I cannot answer questions on security deployments, for obvious reasons, but in your mental map, please figure out a million people, possibly occupying every space from the University of Nairobi graduation grounds to Uhuru Park. Literarily, covering the grounds from the Museum Roundabout to Haile Selassie Roundabout. That explains security deployment numbers,” Esipisu told a news conference.

Unlike the visit by President Barack Obama when the Government encouraged Kenyans to stay home, Esipisu on Sunday was on the forefront in encouraging Kenyans ‘to flock into the city in their numbers to cheer the Pope and celebrate mass with him.’

“As this is a state and pastoral visit, the Pope himself has expressed the desire that as many people as possible have access to him, and when the routes he will take during the tour are announced, you will see that they reflect this desire.”

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