Government rules out extension of census deadline
Irene Githinji and Reuben Mwambingu
The government yesterday said people in the special population category who were left out on August 24 head count will have to wait for the next census in 10 years.
Government Spokesperson Col (rtd) Cyrus Oguna said census regulations requires that this group is enumerated once, which was done on the first day, on August 24.
In the daily updates of the ongoing exercise, Oguna said the special population includes street families, those in hotels and those travelling.
“There have been concerns about enumeration of special population. According to census regulations, this is done in only one night and was done on August 24, which is being used as the census reference night,” said Oguna, who spoke from government media centre.
“Anybody who might have been left out on this night and is a street family and has got no home, that person will have to wait for another 10 years because counting street families and other special population was meant for one night,” he added.
Oguna said there will be no extension of listing datelines saying it has been programmed to end on August 31.
He urged those not listed not to wait for last minute saying they could call the toll -free number 0800221020.
Already, the over 10,000 special enumerators who were covering the special population areas such as prisons and police camps, have been called in to provide backup, with government assuring that all households will have been covered by August 31.
He also said provisions have been made for people living with disabilities and other special groups, saying census is an all -inclusive exercise.
Oguna said collected information is continually monitored to show the scope of coverage and data quality, even as he assured that mechanisms have been put in place to protect data collected from any form of manipulation.
He said a few cases of attempting to interfere with the system have been reported and are under investigations.
“It is futile to attempt to interfere with data collected and in case of any attempts, the system will flag it out and legal action will be taken immediately. It is a waste of time trying to tamper with the process,” Oguna said and urged Kenyans to remain alert and report any incidence where enumerators might ask for anything other than information relating to the census.
He urged Kenyans to cooperate with the team and treat enumerators with respect as they discharge their duty. He assured that material and financial resources required by all census officials have been provided for.
This came as hundreds of enumerators in Kilifi yesterday protested delayed allowances, saying they have not been paid to cover airtime, transport allowances and airtime.
Census in Kilifi South has been paralysed for the past two days after enumerators and content supervisors downed their tools over the allowances.
Speaking to the press at the chief’s office in Mtwapa, the 183 enumerators and their supervisors said they will not continue with the exercise unless all their dues are cleared.
“None of us has been facilitated with allowances. We are still demanding lunch and transport allowance which we were supposed to have been paid immediately after the training,” said Ramadhani Ndoro, an enumerator.
Content supervisor Allan Mwamuye said they have been forced to dig deeper into their pockets to cater for transport and airtime.
Efforts to reach area District Statistical Officer yesterday were futile.
But Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Director General, Zachary Mwangi maintained that logistical concerns have been addressed saying County Commissioners are handling issues at county levels.
“The small misunderstanding normally is about the accounts and transfer of monies. You know the banking regulations dictates that withdrawal of huge amounts of money as this is normally a challenge but we are doing them administratively so there should be no cause for alarm that there is no money,” said Mwangi.
And government Spokesman Oguna said: “Issues from the ground are technical ones that is actually out of hand of the National government. The issues are being handled on the ground, it may be issues to do with account numbers, names, ID but the money has been disbursed.”
Elsewhere, five village elders in Tana Tiver county were arrested for allegedly inciting residents against the exercise.
Police seized Mohammed Buya, 58, Hamisi Makangi, 60, Saidi Komora Dhadho, 68, Omar Dhadho, 63, and Mohammed Komora ,70, from Munguveni village in Tana Delta on Sunday evening after they were reported to have incited villagers to not cooperate with the enumerators.
Tana River County Police Commander Fredrick Ochieng said the elders resisted the exercise on claims that youth undertaking the exercise were non-indigenous and that locals were locked out of the census jobs.
The elders were locked up at the Garsen Police Station as enumerators were accompanied by the police to the village and carried on with the exercise.