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State House now says no holiday on Aug 26 for census, regrets error

State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena. Photo/PSCU-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – State House now says the declaration of August 26 as a public holiday was erroneous.

A statement from the Presidential Communication Strategic Unit (PSCU) regretted the error, saying “we wish to clarify that His Excellency the President did not announce that August 26 will be a public holiday.”

State House had send a statement earlier, saying President Uhuru Kenyatta had designated August 26 as a public holiday to allow maximum enumeration of Kenyans during the national population census that begins next Saturday.

The statement said the announcement was made Friday by the President at the Kenyatta National Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi when he launched the countdown to the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census.

“To ensure maximum enumeration during the first two days (August 24 and 25) of the Census period, I have authorized Monday, 26th August 2019 to be a Public Holiday,” the earlier statement from State House attributed to the President had stated.

The Head of State assured Kenyans of their security during the census exercise saying necessary steps have been taken to ensure the activity takes place in a safe environment and with minimal disruption.

“All enumerators will be accompanied by uniformed security officers, and may also be accompanied by community elders and leaders of residents’ associations, depending on the area,” he said.

To ensure that all Kenyans participate in the census, the President said special measures have been put in place to ensure pastoralists , staff in essential and emergency service sectors and persons who support international travel and airlines are enumerated.

The President who called on all Kenyans to support the process said government took the step to reschedule school opening dates so as to minimize movement of persons during the exercise.

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“It is therefore, the patriotic duty of each and every one of us to do all that is required to support the exercise,”the President said.

On the use of technology in the census, the President said he was proud that the mobile telephony devices and other accessories that will be used in the activity have all been locally assembled at Moi University and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

He said data captured during this year’s census will be more detailed than in previous similar exercises so as to take care of all aspects of national planning and resource utilization.

“The census data will be utilised in planning to ensure that all Kenyans will access opportunities in an equitable manner,” President Kenyatta said.

A team of 2,467 technology supervisors, 22,268 content supervisors and 138,572 enumerators has been assembled and will be deployed across the country to carry out the census exercise.

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