The highly anticipated national population census kicked off in earnest on Saturday night. But as expected, there were some isolated incidents where the exercise didn’t go as smoothly.
Supervisor ‘Trades’ Census Gadgets for Alcohol
One such incident happened in Nyamira where a census supervisor was arrested for misusing the gadgets used to capture data.
Gilbert Maranga, the ICT census supervisor at Kemera was issued with a census tablet and a power bank but went missing shortly after. The census coordinator in Nyamira, Lensa Apondi, recorded a statement at Sengera police station and officers were deployed to search for the ‘missing’ officer.
Nyamira county commissioner Amos Mariba said the supervisor was found at Princess Pub in Kisii and arrested. None of the gadgets were in his possession at the time.
Asked where he had taken them, Mr Maranga said told police that he had given them to another pub owner whom he owed money.
He took police to the bar and the gadgets were recovered from the pub manager who had kept them as collateral after the official allegedly consumed alcohol on credit.
Maranga is currently being held at Sengera Police Station pending investigations
4 Arrested for Resisting Census
Elsewhere, up to four people were arrested for resisting the ongoing exercise. Police arrested two men in Chepalungu, Bomet County, one of whom nearly attacked an enumerator using a machete at Siongiroi village before police intervened.
“Our officer responded swiftly and arrested the suspect for resisting the exercise and is being held. He will appear in court to answer to charges of resisting the exercise,” Chepalungu Sub-County Police Commander Nelson Masaai.
The second man was arrested at Kipsuter after locking his door saying he did not want to be counted. The sub-county police boss said officers accompanying census officials had to use force to gain access.
“He tried to deny the enumerators access but my officers had to do the necessary and ensure the people at the homestead were counted and at the same time arrest the man,” Masaai said.
Another two people were arrested in Nyalenda estate, Kisumu for refusing to participate in the census.
Kisumu County Police Commander Benson Maweu said they arrested a man and a woman after they chased away the census officials and refused to be enumerated.
Thugs Strike in Embu
Elsewhere, residents of Bamako area in Dallas estate of Embu town were left counting losses after thieves gained entry into their compounds and stole household items.
The locals said they had left their gates open to facilitate the enumerators’ access to their houses only for the thieves to take advantage and gain entry into their compounds.
Unfortunately, the enumerators did not show up on Saturday night, with the residents waking up on Sunday to find the clothes they had left on hanging lines, shoes left at doorsteps and basins stolen.
One victim of the heist, identified as Purity Nduku, said most of her clothes were outside as she usually does her general cleaning on Saturdays.
“By evening they had not dried up so I left them outside overnight. Someone took advantage of us having left the gates open for the census officials and stole the clothes,” she said.
Embu County Commissioner Abdullahi Galgalo said investigations are ongoing to find the suspects.