KENYAN CENSUS EXERCISE MARRED BY DRAMA AND CHALLENGES

The national census exercise in Kenya enters day five today amid drama and challenges that have continued to marr the event.

Many people in different parts of the country are yet to be counted even as the exercise officially kicked off on the 24th of August.

This has seen the government extend working hours for census personnel across the country in order to speed up the process so as to ensure that every household is reached.

An interministerial committee led by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on Monday extended the enumeration time in populous urban centres like Nairobi, Mombasa, Thika, Nyeri from 6am to 10pm.

The exercise will end at 9pm in the rest of the country. Initially, the headcount was to begin at 6am and end at 6pm countrywide.

In Wajir South, a chief was arrested for facilitating inflation of census figures through double listing. According to the police, the chief was overseeing the registration of people twice, in a move aimed at exaggerating the final outcome.

In Juja in the county of Kiambu, a woman was on Monday arrested for refusing to participate in the census. According to police reports, the woman, a resident of Joyland estate, refused to participate in the exercise and used vulgar language against census officials.

In Migingo Island, residents are being enumerated even as controversy over ownership of the island remains.

The exercise has also been marred by cases of insecurity and obstruction, with several such cases recorded across the country. Sixteen people are already in court for obstructing enumerators while the rest are being processed.

In Maseno in the county of Kisumu, an enumerator was on Saturday night gang raped at her residential gate after she was dropped home.

Nyanza Regional Police Commander Vincent Makhoha said the attackers took away the woman’s torch and power bank, but left other census materials.

She is being treated in one of the hospitals.

The census official was attacked by three young men who were hiding in some thicket behind the gate.

So far, two suspects have been arrested following the incidence and they are helping with investigations.

In Tana River, five elders were arrested after they were accused of inciting residents against the census.

The nationwide census exercise began on August 24 and is expected to end on August 31. It is being undertaken by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

Ends…………….

About Slyvia Wakhisi

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