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A total of 35 people arrested for obstructing the census exercise

Interior Principal Secretary (PS) Karanja Kibicho has warned Kenyans against obstructing the ongoing census exercise saying they would face the full force of the law.
The PS highlighted that regrettably they have seen Kenyans who were obstructing the work of the enumerators and noted that as long as an enumerator is positively identified, it is against the law if one obstructs them from doing their work.
“As a result of this behaviour that borders on criminality, the government through the National Police Service (NPS) has had 35 such cases reported and some, around 16, are in court while the others are being processed,” said the PS.
He added that some government officials were also hampering the smooth flow of this work and some Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs and other staff from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) who are either enumerators, supervisors and such have been arrested and would face the full force of the law.
Kibicho also lauded the business community for heeding to the call and closing down bars and other social places on the night of August 24.
Speaking on Monday at the government media centre during a census update, Kibicho also thanked the media for the positive coverage of the census saying that this is the way that we need to move as a country by positively cooperating on issues of national importance.
“We have seen an improved pace compared to day one but we are not yet there since there are a lot of Kenyans who have not been visited and they think we are taking too long which is the case when you are handling new gadgets,” explained Kibicho.
“As an inter-ministerial committee, we have agreed that we will extend the working hours especially in the urban areas where the population is concentrated with the extended time now being from 6:00 AM up to 10:00 PM,” said Kibicho.
He said that the urban areas included Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kakamega, Nyeri, Kiambu, Thika, Machakos and Kisii.
The PS said that other areas which were not major towns mentioned above, the enumeration has been extended from 6:00 AM up to 9:00 PM.
He assured Kenyans who have not been enumerated that they should not worry since the government is in control of the matter and there was still time for them to be counted.
“We have been able to add some 10, 000 special census enumerators who were handling the prisons, street families and security personnel camps like the barracks. They have been called as back up and this will ensure that all Kenyans are enumerated by the close of the exercise,” said Kibicho.
“We have noted that there are people who are trying to manipulate the statistics and we want to assure Kenyans that the census has a fool proof method to detect manipulation and people should not waste time trying to create issues that do not exist since we will know them,” noted the PS.
Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng assured Kenyans of the safety of the data which is being captured electronically saying that they have established three sites where the incoming data is being stored.
Ochieng said that in case there was an incident on one site, there would be another site which would be able to pick up and the data transmission will go on uninterrupted.
“We cannot tell you the sites for security reasons but rest assured that we have three sites which are replicating the data as it comes on,” said Ochieng.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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