CENSUS 2019

It's all systems go for count as 140,000 cops deployed

Some officers will accompany enumerators to households while hundreds of others on standby for surveillance against threats.

In Summary

• CS Fred Matiang'i says the government is aware of a plot by some politicians to interfere. They are mobilising 'their' people ahead of census.

•Bars, pubs, clubs, hotels to be closed. And no night running.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i.
WARNING: Interior CS Fred Matiang'i.
Image: FILE

The government has mobilised more than 140,000 police officers to monitor the national census that begins this evening at 6pm.

This will be Kenya's first paperless census, its largest ever, covering more than two million households.

The seven-day population and housing census will be conducted from 6pm-6am today and tomorrow.

 

From Monday the count will proceed during the day until August 31.

Security bosses say some police officers will accompany enumerators to households while hundreds of others have been put on standby for surveillance against threats or disruption.

Police Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai has cancelled all leave to strengthen security in the conflict-prone regions of the North Rift Valley and other flashpoints in Northeastern.

§in the 2009  census the government admitted there were glaring errors and manipulation and is determined it will not happen again and all counties will be allotted resources fairly.

“You are all directed to ensure all officers on leave report back to their duty stations latest by Thursday. They will be informed when to resume or take leave later. Ensure strict compliance,” reads Mutyambai's order to all regional commanders.

Border point patrols have been scaled up to ensure only people within the country will be enumerated and that no influx will be allowed from across the borders to illegally participate in the headcount.

“We have availed what is humanly possible to guarantee a peaceful census. There is no cause for alarm and Kenyans should remain calm as they go about the census,” a senior police officer told the Star.

 

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i has warned political leaders against transporting people for the census upcountry, saying it's all systems go for people to be counted where they are.

On Thursday Matiang'i said the government was aware of a plot by some politicians to interfere with the census and stack up numbers in "their" areas. He warned that they will be severely punished.

“We are aware of meetings you held last night (Wednesday) and at the appropriate time, we shall ensure you meet with the law,” Matiang’i said, pledging to crush those impeding the count.

Political leaders have already intensified campaigns to mobilise their people countrywide, stressing the importance of the census to them. However, their eyes are trained on the boundaries review and the 2022 General Election informed by the census.

It has emerged that more security personnel have been deployed to 27 constituencies considered at 'high risk" of being redrawn if residents don't meet the population threshold. The Constitution stipulates 290 constituencies.

A redrawn constituency with fewer of their community members could cost a politician his or her seat.

In the last few days, politicians from these constituencies have urged "their" redrawn or merged.

The constituencies that did not meet the 133,000 population quota received special treatment because going forward their population was expected to grow.

The country's eighth national population count gets underway this evening with the State assuring of transparency and credibility of the data captured.

The government has contracted  138,572 enumerators, 22,268 content supervisors and 2,467 ICT supervisors to conduct the count held every 10 years.

The government says data will be captured using mobile devices and transmitted digitally to guarantee speed and accuracy.

The digital data will also ensure audit capability in case results are disputed by political leaders, so the KNBS can guarantee transparency and security of data.

Politicians are pushing the government to ensure that the data will be accurate and cannot be manipulated by vested interest with high stakes in the count.

According to the government, the entire census exercise, which started in 2016, will cost  Sh18.5 billion, with Sh10 billion being paid to officers involved.

The enumerators will be looking for the physical locations, personal details including age, sex, date of birth, nationality, marital status, birthplace, previous residence, duration of residence, the reason of migration and orphanhood.

Other questions would be occupation, level of education, access and ownership of ICT equipment, agriculture occupation, materials used in roofing, amenities available, whether the house is owned or rented and household assets like cars and bicycles.

Kenyans will also be required to be indoors from 5PM after the government announced that all bars, pubs and entertainment joints will remain closed during the census period from 6pm-6am.

 And no night running.