Politicians derailing census will be dealt with, says Matiang’i

Acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani, his counterparts, Dr Fred Matiangi (Interior) and ICT’s Joe Mucheru during a press briefing on the level of preparedness of the National Population and Housing Census yesterday. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]
The government has said it is aware of a plot by some politicians to interfere with the census and warned that they will be punished.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the government was privy to meetings held on Wednesday night and it was closely monitoring the activities of those who convened them.

“We are aware of the meetings you had last night and at appropriate time we shall ensure you meet with the law,” Matiang’i said.

He said the ministry was aware of the sinister motives of some political leaders trying to influence how people will be counted. 

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The seven-day Kenya population and housing census will start on August 24 at 6pm and will proceed until August 31. 

“We know of the attempts in parts of the country where we have received reports of people trying to do some funny games asking people to move this way and that way,” revealed Dr Matiang’i yesterday.

He said security apparatus was closely monitoring politicians who have been planning to have people counted as they desire.

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He accused the political leaders of using their “primitive habits” of grouping people according to clans, saying their time was over.

“We are following up your activities. We are watching you…This is a straight forward exercise and let us allow it to be that,” said CS.

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He added: “This is a modern country and Kenyans want to live according to the law. Let us allow the decency that it requires.”

Identification papers

The CS warned politicians to desist from engaging in the activities that may interfere with the census or face dire consequences.

The warning by CS comes barely a week after President Uhuru Kenyatta rallied political and religious leaders to appeal to the people to participate in the exercise.

Uhuru asked the leaders to use their platforms and influence to support the government’s bid to have every Kenyan counted.

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Yesterday at Harambe House, during a briefing on State’s preparedness for the exercise, Matiang’i assured the country that security measures were in place.

He asked Kenyans to demand identification documents of the individuals seeking access to their residences to avoid letting impostors in.

The CS also asked individuals seeking to monitor the exercise to seek accreditation from County Commissioners.

He also maintained that bars and religious meetings will be not be allowed on Saturday and Sunday by 5pm.

But as it emerged during the presser, it is not only the threat of some political leaders that is seeking to water down the success of the census.

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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) CS Joe Mucheru hinted that there is a likelihood of Kenyans who registered for Huduma Number turning their backs on the census.

Unlike Huduma

Mr Mucheru told Kenyans that unlike Huduma Number, the census was “distinctly” different since it seeks information that will assist the country in planning for the next ten years.

“The census will seek to find how many farmers we have and how many teachers among others, all the information we need about the economy that can help us in planning,” Mucheru said.

At the same time, he sought to allay the fears that the data collected will not be secured.

Meanwhile, governors have urged Kenyans to return to their home counties and be counted as it is crucial for future revenue allocations.

“We are ready for the census and I’ve been in the forefront in my own cou nty urging citizens to come home and be counted.

“Even the Bible says that when it reaches time for counting go home,” said Council of Governors chair Wycliffe Oparanya.

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Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’iCensusPoliticians