Tonight, Kenyans are fulfilling a civil obligation of being counted in a population census held once every 10 years. A census is a critical event for any country that seeks to look back, take stock now and focus on the future.
Enumerators will be all over the country working to ensure they count every person. This drive is expected to give a true picture of just how many Kenyans the government needs to plan for. Planning is easily executed when there is reliable socio-economic data in areas such as population, income, education and employment.
Therefore, there is no room for mistakes and monkey tricks. In a number of quarters, citizens have raised issues about their security during the drive. The Interior Ministry is nonetheless upbeat that every security agency will be on high alert.
So far so good. However, of concern has been the rallying by some leaders that people move back to their home counties to be counted there. We are not sure what the interests of such politicians are. If it is about beefing up tribal numbers, then we may be missing the point.
It is common knowledge that some politicians are angling to pounce on the census data for future planning and gerrymandering when the time will come for delimitation of boundaries.
We urge politicians to keep off and allow those charged with manning the exercise time and space to do their work. We urge the government to, unlike in the last census, not let any doubts dent the credibility of the outcome of this process.
Truth be told, many Kenyans, going by the lack of enthusiasm demonstrated in the countdown to this exercise, feel it could be another sham process meant to create an avenue for a few officials to make money.
Also, Kenyans should not be made to believe they are being used as pawns in a dirty political game of numbers. Let the census be a true start to the much needed reforms and better planning that will put our economy on an upward trajectory. Let it be followed by actions that will make the lives of Kenyans better.
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