Aug 4 a public holiday in Kenya

July 30, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – The government has formerly declared August 4 a public holiday to enable Kenyans to participate in the referendum vote.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said on Friday that public servants would be given half-day off on Tuesday to allow them to travel to their registration centers.

He is urging private firms to work out a flexible schedule for their employees so that they too can vote at the referendum.

“All public servants who want to travel to their home areas so as to cast their vote may do so from Tuesday afternoon,” the government spokesman said. “The government is also calling upon private companies to follow the same spirit by giving their employees the day off during the referendum period.”

He called on all Kenyans to come out during the referendum exercise so they can have a hand in shaping the country’s future.

“It is important that all Kenyans come out and vote for this historic moment. The vote is critical since it will bring important changes in the country,” he said. “Adequate measures have been put in place to ensure the smooth conduct and security of the referendum. Kenyans have nothing to be worried about but should come out and exercise their right to vote.”

Meanwhile, the government spokesman found no problem with the Yes team booking all the venues in the city before their rallies ahead of the referendum.

He said that it was a matter of first come first served and if the No team missed their opportunity, then they were to blame. “The question would only be relevant for either team to say there is an issue where this team was refused to take up a rally venue.

“However, if the other team was inefficient, you cannot blame the other team for taking the initiative and booking ahead,” he stated.

His comments come amidst an outcry by No proponents that they had been locked out of all major rally venues in the city.

“There are those people who woke up at 3.00 AM so that they ca line up to get Safaricom shares so by 6.00AM, they got them and by 9.00 AM all had been closed,” he said. “So if any one shows up at 11.00 AM and then starts to ask why they were not given the shares, it does not make any sense at all.”

“It just depends on when you can get your act together so nobody can stop any team. If venues were booked, they had been booked earlier.”


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