• Opposition leader Raila Odinga has declared next Monday to be a public holiday
• Raila is calling for mass action on Monday to remove the government of President William Ruto from power
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has declared that Monday is a public holiday so that Kenyans can join his mass action to remove the government of President William Ruto.
This declaration is misguided. Raila is entitled to campaign against the government but he does not have the power to declare special public holidays. Only the government can do that.
A one-off public holiday is a cost to employers who have to pay the salary of workers who have the day off. Conversely, workers will lose one day's salary or holiday if employers do not recognise Raila's holiday.
So why didn't Raila hold his mass action on Sunday, which would not require a day off for anyone joining the protest?
Presumably, Raila wants his mass action to take place on a weekday to maximise disruption to normal traffic and business. His mass action would not be as disruptive on a Sunday when people are at home.
Opposition leaders have stopped attending Raila's rallies because they are losing popular support. Raila should read the writing on the wall. Let him hold his mass action on Sunday to minimise inconvenience to society. Otherwise, he risks failing to re-invent himself.
Quote of the day: "Nothing is possible without men, but nothing lasts without institutions."
The French economist died on March 16, 1979