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Govt promises to deliver credible census results amid concerns over data manipulation

While giving an update as the exercise entered the fourth day, Oguna (pictured) said those manipulating census data are wasting their time since the system is tamper proof and can’t be manipulated/CFM – MOSES MUOKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27 – Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna has assured Kenyans that census results will be credible despite attempts by some officials to manipulate data collected in the ongoing exercise.

While giving an update as the exercise entered the fourth day, Oguna said those manipulating census data are wasting their time since the system is tamper proof and can’t be manipulated.

“The information being collected is continuously being monitored to show the scope of coverage and data quality. Mechanisms have been put in place to protect the data collected from any form of manipulation. It is therefore futile to attempt to interfere with data collected. In case of any such attempts, the system will flag it out and legal action will immediately be taken,” said Oguna.

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho on Monday also mentioned that manipulating data to inflate numbers won’t work since unlike in 2009, the 2019 census is being conducted digitally and any mischief will be picked up by the system.

Three chiefs from Wajir County have already been arrested for inflating census data, a move that authorities believe is a scheme by some politicians to increase numbers especially in sparsely populated areas for political reasons.

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, figures that were dismissed by a section of political actors.

The government has assured that actual data from this year’s census will be released three months after the conclusion of the exercise that closes on Saturday.

At the beginning of the exercise ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the government had digitalized the process such that no staff will find it easy to tamper with the data.

Of the measures put in place include the use of locally assembled software to curb any infiltration.

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The government has also 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 being undertaken by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

Kenyans have been urged to continue cooperating with enumerators as well providing accurate information.

 

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