However, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu urged employers to create flexible hours for their staff to attend the pope’s events.
“It is not envisaged that there will be a public holiday on either of the days and instead, the government would like to encourage the employers to work out flexible hours for their staff to ensure they do join in celebrating the mass,” he said. The Pope’s visit secretariat Chairman, Bishop Alfred Rotich joined Esipisu in appealing to employers to consider the historic event that many people are eagerly waiting to witness.
“I further appeal to private sector employers and government institutions to allow their staff members to be part of this cardinal and enriching assemblage in our country. Let us come together and pray together,” he urged.
During the joint briefing by State House, the Catholic Church and the office of the Inspector General, it was apparent that Kenya is indeed excited to welcome the pope to Kenya.
Elaborate measures had been put in place to ensure as many Kenyans travel to Nairobi to share the memorable moments with the Holy Father who will be making his first visit to Africa.
It will be also 20 years since the last visit by Pope John Paul II in September 1995.
According to Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett, measures have been put in place to ensure ample security during the historic visit by the pope.
Kenyans were urged to be alert and report any suspicions they may experience during the three busy days that the country will be hosting the Head of the Vatican.
“We are ready to receive the Pope and his entourage. Security arrangements have been made and put in place right from his arrival to coverage of all the roads he will be using, the venue, residences including providing security for the visitors who will be coming to this city,” Boinett assured.
Days before the arrival of the pope, security officers were spotted in various parts of the city patrolling the central business district and the major highways which the pope is expected to pass through.
There was also heavy police presence in venues where planned events will take place.
Kenyans are also allowed to line up along the roads which the pope will pass through.
Events at Kasarani stadium and the mass at the University of Nairobi are open to members of the public which according to Boinett, security considerations have been put in place.
Even without visitors, traffic snarl-up in Nairobi is a common eyesores that irritate residents who have to spend hours driving to and from their homes.
But with expectation of high numbers of visitors in the city, Boinett explained that arrangements had been made to control traffic and also give directions to visiting drivers on the routes to use and also where to pack their vehicles.
Already an elaborate programme of traffic interruptions was released and major highways that the pope will use will remain closed.
They include Mombasa Road, Thika Road, Limuru Road, Waiyaki Way and Uhuru Highway.
Apart from the closure of roads because of the Pope’s visit, there will be an influx of vehicles with people traveling from upcountry in their thousands to attend the public mass at University of Nairobi and the meeting with youth at Kasarani Stadium.