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2 more chiefs arrested for manipulating census data in Wajir

Chiefs during a past meeting in Nairobi; 3 chiefs are in custody over census offences. Photo/CFM-FILE/.

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 27, Another chief in Mandera County was arrested Monday for aiding manipulation of census data in the ongoing exercise.

The chief was arrested alongside his assistant–all from Habaswein Central location–hours after another chief was arrested in the county for facilitating double registration of residents.

“They are all in custody now awaiting charges in court,” National Police Service spokesman Charles Owino told Capital FM News, “They will be charged with several offenses.”

An investigation was also underway on the enumerators’ involvement.

In one of the cases involving the chiefs, an enumerator assigned 100 households had been found to have registered more than 600 in a region that is sparsely populated, raising serious credibility concerns on the data filed on a single day.

Authorities believe the move is part of a scheme by politicians to inflate population figures in their regions for political regions, particularly in areas that are sparsely populated.

In the last census held in 2009, North Eastern Kenya recorded a major increase in its population from 962,143 people in 1999 to 2.3 million in 2009 in what raised serious concerns, with the government now assuring that actual data will be released three months after the conclusion of the exercise that closes on Saturday.

Of the measures put in place include the use of a locally assembled software to curb any infiltration while the Government has created a special network to ensure no other device is used to transmit data. Local and international monitors or observers are also taking part in the national exercise.

“We are very sure that also the quality of the data coming is only coming from our own sources,” ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru said during a press conference at the beginning of the exercise undertaken by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

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