The Machakos governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua has ordered the closure of all bars in the county on Saturday, the August 24 to allow for uninterrupted national census exercise.
Speaking to journalists during a press briefing at his office, Mutua warned that those who go against this directive will be subjected to hefty fines and risk having their licenses being revoked.
He ordered his ward administrators and members of his inspectorate to enforce the order on the prescribed times. The Governor urged the County residents to avail themselves for the exercise saying that the bigger the number of residents captured in the county, the bigger the amount of national resource it will be allocated.
“Let us not put more emphasis on money-making forgetting this is an important exercise that will determine the resources we are allocated,” Dr. Mutua said as he also ordered all markets and shops to be closed by 5 pm on Saturday August 24 and reopen at 9am August 25, 2019.
Residents of Bungoma County have similarly been asked to avoid social places during census to be counted. Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and County Commissioner, Stephen Kihara insisted that this coming census must reflect the true number of people from Bungoma county and western region at large.
“If you must drink on August 24 2019 evening, please buy your drink and take it at home even local brew stations should close on that night for this important national function,” urged Governor Wangamati.
Mutua stressed the importance of census likening it to the Biblical narrative example where Joseph and Mary went back to their native land of Bethlehem to be counted with the rest, and urged Machakos people who work or stay in other places to come back home for the count. “This exercise is necessary for the planning,” he added.
Factories, constructions sites and other business points will also stop work from midday August 24 to 6am on Monday 26 2019. These stoppages and closures are to give workers and other residents enough time to travel to their homestead for the census activity, he opined, while asking employers to give their employees time to travel home for the exercise.
Elsewhere, the Kisii County Governor James Ongwae has urged members of the Gusii community to turn out and be counted during the forthcoming population census slated to commence in the Census night.
He said at Nyamira Central PAG church it was important that all individuals and economy indicators from Gusii community be captured during the forthcoming census so that enough resources are duly allocated in the next 10 years in region.
The Nyamira County Governor, John Nyangarama who was the host at the church event echoed the same sentiments and warned those inciting residents against participating in the exercise since their reasons are insubstantial.
“You should not allow inciters to mislead you not to participate in the census exercise because if we are wrongly persuaded to boycott census, the entire community will suffer since low numbers mean less resource allocation from government,” Nyangarama advised.
Kenya has conducted seven national censuses in the past. The 2019 enumeration exercise will be exceptional in that it will use electronic gadgets to help capture the correct data and making the process faster.
Meanwhile, the Tharaka Nithi County Commissioner (CC), Ms. Beverly Opwora has refuted claims of any malpractice in the recruitment of census personnel and a likelihood of the exercise to start on August 24 2019 hitting a snag as reported in sections of the mainstream media.
Speaking to KNA on Monday the CC expressed total dismay and astonishment at a story alleging the census exercise is likely to hit a snag in Tharaka-Nithi county yet she has already assured the County residents that they will all be counted by people they know.
“The corruption claims are not true because I personally followed up on the recruitment exercise from the word go. In some areas, the applicants did not meet the required qualification as per the advertisement while the rest failed in either written or oral interviews especially those seeking ICT positions forcing the recruitment team to outsource but within the county,” said Ms. Opwora.
The Lamu West Deputy County commissioner (DCC), Louis Rono has quashed concerns raised by a section of residents that the exercise could be disrupted by Al Shabaab, saying that steps have been taken to ensure that no such attack can happen.
Rono also stated that the census exercise has to go on as planned, saying that all security measures have been taken into consideration and there was no need for fear of Al Shabaab interfering with the national exercise.
His remarks come after some residents had vowed not to open their doors to strangers for fear of a repeat of the 2014 Mpeketoni attack, where attackers would call out a name of the owner of the house only to end up killing them.
Some of the areas where residents have vowed not to open the doors to the census team due to fear is Uungu, Bobo, Safirisi, Mpeketoni, Salama, Pangani, Nyaatha among other areas where killings were witnessed.
Rono also added that there will be maximum security surveillance to even those living in areas where network is a problem, saying that the soldiers will be doing their patrols.
By KNA Team