KENYA: Parliament to Take Break to Welcome Pope Francis

NAIROBI NOVEMBER 20, 2015(CISA) – Kenyan Parliament will take a two-day break to give members of parliament opportunity to join Kenyans in welcoming the Holy Father when he visits. House Speaker Justin Muturi on Thursday November 19 informed MPs that they will not hold sittings on November 25-26 , reported Capital FM News.

“The Majority Whip may have to have a motion on Tuesday, to exclude the House from sitting on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26, for purposes of allowing members to go and welcome the Pope who will be visiting. The House will then meet on December 1, if the House so resolves,” the Speaker directed.

The Pope is expected in the country on November 25 evening for a three-day visit. Majority Coalition Whip Katoo ole Metito said he will present a motion to give effect to the resolution of the House Business Committee.

“Mr Speaker as you are aware, His Holiness, Pope Francis will be visiting Kenya from next week which is a historical moment that we are all looking forward to, in this regard, Honourable Members, we may be breaking during this important Papal visit,” he told the House. The government has already advised Nairobi residents to brace themselves for major disruptions during the Papal visit.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said residents should not imagine that the situation would be similar to that experienced when US President Barack Obama was in the country in July. He said over a million people are expected to attend Mass at the University of Nairobi and its vicinity on Thursday, November 26.

The government recently announced it was considering whether to grant Kenyans a two-day public holiday to allow them celebrate the Papal visit.

Esipisu said the government is looking into whether employers can provide flexible schedules for their employees to be productive. Pope Francis will land in the country on November 25 and hold bilateral talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta as well celebrate Holy Mass and address several public meeting.

On November 26, up to 60 Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops from the Eastern Africa region are expected to attend the High Mass, additionally; there will be 9,000 priests, clergy and religious leaders at the Mass.

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