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Give the accurate information during census, Government spokesperson

As the census kicked off Saturday at 6p.m, Government spokesperson Rtd. Col. Cyrus Oguna called upon Kenyans to give the right and accurate information during the exercise.
The spokesperson said it was illegal to give wrong information during the exercise adding that to do so would attract a jail term of six months or a fine of Sh500, 000.
“Those households who will not give accurate information during census exercise face a jail term of six months or a fine of Sh500, 000 thus I would rather you give the right information and avoid a jail term,” he said
Col Oguna reiterated the importance of the exercise saying it was for posterity and assured all that concerns over security and the exercise itself have been addressed.
“There is elaborate security arrangements that has been put in place to ensure the exercise runs smoothly. The Ministry of Interior and National Coordination has collaborated with other agencies to ensure there is no destabilization of anything,” he said.
County commissioners, regional commissioners, chiefs, sub-chiefs and village elders have all been mobilized to ensure that the census exercise is conducted smoothly, he added
He also assured that all enumerators were working in areas they were familiar with so it’s unlikely that during the process that one gets someone they do not know and if one does not get a familiar one, there would be at least a chief, a sub chief or even a chairman or elder of an estate.
In order for Kenyans to identify those conducting the exercise, Col Oguna said an enumerator shall be accompanied by a police officer, chief, or sub-chief, a village elder or chairpersons of estate associations.
All enumerators, content supervisors and ICT supervisors will wear yellow, orange and red luminous jackets. They shall in addition have with them identity cards containing details such as names of enumerators and their ID card numbers.
Col Oguna said this is a unique exercise considering that for the very first time, the exercise is digitally conducted, to collect and process data and this would ensure and hasten preliminary report within three months unlike before.
He also assured that devices have been designed to collect data offline in case of a connectivity problem.
“Those in areas where there are challenges of connectivity, there is provision of that within these devices and people should not also be worried that the information given will be tampered with,” he said.
He added that the data is non-erasable and could not be tampered and thus providing ones ID or passport number would not be policing as most Kenyans are saying but it is to know how many Kenyans of age still do not have IDs. “Let’s not demonize the process,” the government spokesperson reiterated.
Col Oguna said individuals in hotels would fill a short questionnaire to safeguard their privacy and the information provided would be subsequently captured electronically within the premises of the hotels.
“Information for all those in hotels, travelers and street families will however be captured using a short questionnaire only today the 24th August 2019,” he said.
On the controversial closure of bars and entertainment spots, the Spokesperson appealed to Kenyans to view the national event as a time to spend with family and together provide information for government to effectively plan for everyone
“This exercise is just not for today, but is an important tool for the government to plan for a child who is yet to be born,” he said.
Col Oguna further assured people living with disability such as the blind and deaf that the exercise has incorporated their well-being in the exercise and that the enumeration exercise has factored in such issues.
He gave Kenyans a hotline Toll free number 0800-221-020 to a Call Centre which has been set up for reporting of any emerging issues in the field, monitoring of the process and enquiries.
The Call Centre, Col Oguna said, would remain open for 24 hrs for the entire duration of the census process from 24th-31st August 2019.
“This facility is to ensure that the census process proceeds smoothly and that Kenyans are able to be attended to promptly during the census period,” Col Oguna said.
Zachary Mwangi, Director General of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said payments of all cadres partaking the exercise have been paid during the training exercise and that what was remaining is payments after the census exercise which would be paid immediately after enumeration since the resources were there.
The National Police Spokesperson Charles Owino said that all police offices have been recalled for duty in order to join in the exercise.
‘We have over 100, 000 officers including the Inspector general who will be involved in the exercise,” he said noting that the Police 24 hour operation centres will also be on in the region.
Owino named special consideration in areas of North Eastern and border counties which were prone to insecurity where they have intensified operations during the exercise.
ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng said the government was aware of backlog on birth and death certificate issuance and that relevant ministries were working closely and activity has been ongoing and that within the next 30 days the Interior Ministry would have addressed the back log across the country.
Census is a very important process in the pursuit of sustainable development and provision of quality services that is carried out after every 10 years.
The government is thus calling upon every Kenyan to avail themselves, cooperate and provide accurate information to enable the Government to plan better.
By Wangari Ndirangu

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