Kenya: Civil Servants And SDA Church Reject Saturday As Working Day

Nairobi, Kenya - Civil servants and the Seventh Day Adventists Church have opposed a proposal to have Government employees work on Saturdays.

The Union of Kenya Civil Servants vowed to resist Government plans to compel their members to work on weekends.

The union's national chairman, Mr Zakayo Chepkonga, said civil servants would only accept to work on Saturdays if this was treated as overtime.

He was reacting to remarks by Public Service minister, Mr Asman Kamama, that public employees might start working on Saturdays. 

Kamama said the directive would be enforced once a team researching on the new working modality gave its recommendations.

Chepkonga said the move would infringe on the rights of civil servants.

He spoke at Eldama-Ravine Education hall in Koibatek District during the election of Harambee Sacco branch officials.

He said his union had given out Sh1.4 million to its members affected by the post-election violence, and Sh35.5 million as loans to the district last year.

He condemned corruption and urged civil servants to offer exemplary services to redeem their image.

And the SDA Church also protested at the plan to compel civil servants to work on Saturdays.

In a statement, Mr Paul Muasya, the Executive Director of the Nairobi-based East African Union of the SDA Church, said the directive would contravene their members' constitutional right of worship.

"We are surprised at the minister's pronouncements, which do not seem to consider that a large section of the civil service will be denied their fundamental right to worship," read the statement in part.

The Kenyan SDA Church has about three million faithful, who worship on Saturday. "Compelling our members to work on Saturdays may lead to sackings because they cannot compromise their faith," Muasya said.