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Chief arrested in Wajir for manipulating census

Police Spokesman Charles Owino. Photo/CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 26- A chief has been arrested in Wajir South for facilitating inflation of census figures through double listing.

National Police Service Charles Owino on Monday said the chief was overseeing the registration of people twice, in a move aimed at exaggerating the final outcome.

The Khumbi location chief will be charged in court on Tuesday when the census exercise will be entering its fourth day.

“This is a serious offence,” Owino told Capital News, “The chief is in custody and will be charged.”

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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