You risk six months jail term for false census information

Written By: Edward Kabasa/Margaret Kalekye
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You risk a jail term of six months or a fine of half a million shillings should you deliberately issue wrong information to enumerators conducting the 2019 national census.

Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna in issuing a rallying call on Kenyans to support the census on Saturday said security had been beefed up across the country to ensure smooth running of the weeklong exercise.

Oguna warned that there will be no turning back on the government’s directive that all bars and entertainment joints be shut down by 5 pm Saturday and Sunday to facilitate the National Census.

Its all systems go as the seven day exercise gets underway Saturday evening. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) maintains that they are ready for the count.

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The government has clarified that money set aside to pay enumerators has been disbursed to all the 47 counties.

Those not enumerated by August 31 are advised to report to the local administrative office or call toll free number 0800221020 which has been provided by KNBS.

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Oguna said enumerators will spend about 30 minutes in each house, though this may be shorter or longer depending on the size of the household adding that they have been trained on how to ask sensitive questions.

He said Kenyans will be asked to give their ID or passport numbers to establish the number of those who have actually acquired these documents for planning purposes.

“Kenyans should thus not panic regarding this matter of ID cards because during the time of data analysis, personal identity shall be removed from the data to achieve anonymity” he stated.

All persons who will be within the borders of Kenya on the census night will be counted. This will include persons found in the households, outdoor sleepers, persons on transit, individuals in hotels and lodges, and institutions such as hospitals, prisons and army barracks among others.

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“Anyone who will be present in your household on the night of 24th/25th August 2019 will be counted together with your household” he said.

He assured that security has been beefed up with at least over 10,000 police officers having being deployed to accompany enumerators to each household.

Police boss Hillary Mutyambai will personally accompany some of the security teams deployed to provide security.

“Enumerators will have official identity cards and reflector jackets for ease of identification. They will also be accompanied by village elders, leaders of residence associations and in certain cases, assistant chiefs who are well known by the heads of households” Oguna said.

Confidentiality

For the first time, all the data required for the Census will be captured electronically through a tablet computer.

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Oguna has further assured confidentiality of the data with preliminary results expected to be out in three months.

“All information collected is strictly for use by census officials. All census officials will swear an “Oath of Secrecy” as embodied in the Statistics Act 2006. The Oath forbids census officials from divulging the information collected to unauthorized persons. The Bureau has adhered to international guidelines which advocate for the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability and integrity required of statistical systems in maintaining credibility and public confidence” said KNBS.

The key questions that will be asked include: age, sex, marital status, births, deaths, migration, forms and severity of difficulties in performing of daily life activities, educational attainment, labour force particulars, access and ownership of ICT equipment and services, crop farming, livestock and aquaculture, housing characteristics, and ownership of assets.

The basic reports of the census are expected to be released within six months, while the detailed analytical reports will be released within one year after the census enumeration.

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