LEADER

Census: Why citizens must tell the truth

Government should deal ruthlessly with those deliberately giving wrong information.

In Summary

• To get that right, the count needs to be accurate.

• An undercount could skew the data that will be used to determine political representation, policymaking and sharing of national resources, among other key decisions.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i addresses the press during an inter-governmental presser outside his office at Harambee House in Nairobi on August 22, 2019.
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i addresses the press during an inter-governmental presser outside his office at Harambee House in Nairobi on August 22, 2019.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

Although it began on a low note in some parts of the country, the ongoing national census now seems to be well underway, with each enumerator expected to cover 100 households by the end of the exercise on August 31.

A few worrying cases such as the rape of an enumerator and 35 incidents of obstruction have been reported. There are also reports of some people giving false information. This could earn them a fine of Sh100,000.

Census is much more than just the headcount. It is a snapshot of Kenya and determines representation, allocation of resources and investment decisions.

 

To get that right, the count needs to be accurate. An undercount could skew the data that will be used to determine political representation, policymaking and sharing of national resources, among other key decisions.

It would also undermine the integrity of economic data that businesses, researchers, planners and other policymakers rely on to make critical decisions.

The government should, therefore, deal ruthlessly with those deliberately giving wrong information or in some cases refusing to cooperate with the enumerators.