Census officials in Tharaka Nithi County Sunday arrested a bishop and a church official for flouting census regulations.
Bishop David Kamundi of the Holy Spirit of Zion Church was arrested at his Church in Mitheru Ward in Tharaka Nithi County along with a church elder Paul Mungai after some of his faithful declined to be enumerated in the county.
The County Census officials led by the Tharaka Nithi County Commissioner (CC) Ms. Beverly Opwora were witnessing the enumeration of the County Governor Muthomi Njuki at his residence when they received reports that some church followers had violated census regulations.
They rushed to the said church and on arrival, Bishop Kamundi explained to the CC that the church which is also the East African regional headquarters of the sect had held a fundraiser and a ‘kesha’ (overnight prayers) thereafter but denied that any of the members had refused to be counted.
However, the enumerators insisted that two vehicles had already left the church with the occupants saying that they wanted to be counted at their homes in Murang’a County.
Ms. Opwora ordered the arrest of the bishop and the church elder after informing the congregants that they ought to be counted wherever they were and should yield to the enumerators when requested to do so.
The two church officials were held in custody and their deputies were ordered to forward to the CC the church registration certificate to verify that it was legally established.
Meanwhile, governor Njuki has commended the County Census Committee for the teamwork that has enabled the smooth execution of the census exercise in the disputed area along the Tharaka- Meru boundary.
This is after the Tharaka Nithi and Meru County Census Committees resolved to work as a team to enumerate people living along the disputed border to make the census exercise a success.
By Kenneth Marangu