Tensions high in Kenya hours to census

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

The Government of Kenya is wary of threats from its citizens and a section of political leaders which it thinks might interfere with this year’s census with just few hours remaining to the kickoff of the exercise.

Kenya Population and Housing Census 2019 is set to start tomorrow, August 24 and to continue up to August 31 with primary results expected after three months, preliminary report six months and a final report after one year. The event is carried out in the East African country after ten years. This year’s Census will see Kenya becoming the first African country to acknowledge its intersex population and data will also be captured electronically for the first time.

Even though preparations are already in place ahead of tomorrow there is fear that the process might not run smoothly as expected compared to the previous ones. A section of Kenyans had put the government on notice that they will disrupt the process as a protest against unfair hiring of enumerators. They had expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the census officers were hired claiming it was skewed. They called on the Kenya Bureau of Statistics to conduct the process afresh but their pleas fell into deaf ears.

The authority dismissed the allegations noting the recruitment was conducted in a fair way while the residents have insisted it was marred with bribery, impunity and nepotism. Since 129, 000 were hired to undertake the process youths across the country have protested threatening to boycott the exercise.

A number of Kenyans who spoke to Pan African Visions expressed their disappointment noting that unemployed youths were neglected and a number of state officials, teachers among others employed instead. They asserted the locals from some areas were ignored and the opportunities given to outsiders.

“The first question I will pose to them (the officers) is what are their names and when I realize that they do not hail from this area I will shut them out of my house. Our sons and daughters are languishing in unemployment, they should have been given the first priority instead of the outsiders,” stated one of the residents.

“I will not support impunity. No to corruption! No to nepotism! I repeat again it is No to impunity. We cannot move on like that as if nothing happened,” added another one.

Addressing the press yesterday on the State’s preparedness for the exercise, the Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i disclosed there is a group of politicians with an intention of inciting their supporters to boycott the long awaited census which its preparations began in 2016.  He cautioned them saying their night meetings are being monitored.

“We are monitoring those activities. We are aware of the meetings that you had last night. At the end of the day you will meet with the law. Let’s desist from these activities. I urge our leaders especially politicians to support census. This is a straightforward exercise and let’s leaves it at that. Let us do it with decency,” said the minister.





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