Kenya

Census incidents: Man shot dead, four arrested for blocking officials

Census incidents: Man shot dead, four arrested for blocking officials
  • Incidents recorded in some parts of the country on the second night of census.
  • In Baringo South, the exercise was disrupted in insecurity-prone Noosukro village after armed criminals shot one person dead.
  • In Juja, a tenant at Joyland estate was arrested after she blocked census officials from counting her.
  • In Mukuru-Kaiyaba, drama as three resist

The 2019 national census entered the second night on Sunday, with incidents recorded in some parts of the country.

In Baringo South, the exercise was disrupted in insecurity-prone Noosukro village after armed criminals shot one person dead under the cover of darkness.

Tension is high in the area, with locals living in fear of more attacks from the armed criminals who are suspected to be roaming the villages freely.

The Monday night attack came as the deceased, Onesmus Maitano, 30, was in the company of a friend heading to be enumerated at Noosukro Primary School.

They were ambushed and shot by armed attackers suspected to be from a neighbouring community a few minutes after midnight.

According to Dominic Kateiya, a resident, the two men were from Eldume and were almost reaching their destination when the armed criminals shot at them.

FEAR OF ATTACKS

Maitano’s friend survived the attack after he ran to the school.

“The area being porous, authorities had recommended locals to assemble at Noosukro Primary School to be counted, instead of the enumerators going from house to house, which was not safe for them,” said Mr Kateiya.

“The two men were heading to the institution when they were ambushed and shot at, killing one of them.”

The deceased sustained gunshot injuries in the stomach.

“The enumeration exercise was disrupted as people are now living in fear of more attacks,” he added.

He appealed the government to deploy more security officers in the region to ensure all residents are counted.

BANDITRY

“We fear that locals in the volatile area will flee their homes for fear of their lives. The government should deploy more security officers and assure us of our safety,” said Mr Kateiya.

Confirming the incident, Baringo South sub-County police Commandant Benjoliffe Munuve said more security officers have been deployed to the area .

“We have deployed more Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) and General Service Unit (GSU) officers and intensified patrols in the area,” he said.

“We want to assure of their security and they should not live in fear. We are pursuing the attackers who we believe come from the neighbouring community.”

For almost 13 years, Noosukro village remained deserted after bandits imposed a reign of terror.

Locals returned to their homes last year after they deserted their homes in 2005 following rampant banditry attacks.

The body of the deceased has been moved to the county referral hospital morgue in Kabarnet.

JUJA, KIAMBU COUNTY

In Juja, a tenant at Joyland estate was arrested after she blocked census officials from counting her.

According to a police report seen by Nation, Ms Nelly Kinja, first lied that she is the landlord before denying entry to enumerators and the villager elder.

The blocked team included Ms Stellah Mugure Njoroge (the enumerator), her supervisor Faith Wanjiku Gathitho and area elder Mary Wanjiru Gitau.

“She used vulgar language and told them she won't be enumerated because the government has overtaxed her through payments of land rates,” the police report reads in part.

“She alleged that the entire exercise does not serve any purpose. She later claimed that she was enumerated on 24.8.019 at around 2300h while knowing it was false information.”

Ms Kinja was arrested and escorted to Juja Police Station and is expected to be arraigned at the Thika Law Courts on Monday.

Juja sub-county police commander Dorothy Migarusha she will face charges of obstructing an authorised person from collecting statistical data and giving false information to census officials.

MUKURU, NAIROBI COUNTY

In Mukuru-Kaiyaba slum in Starehe, there was drama after a husband and wife hinder census officials from counting them even after police officers were alerted over incident.

Police said the couple and the wife's sister did not have identification documents and are suspected to be foreigners.

The trio was arrested and taken to Hazina Police Post.

“The landlord made a mistake of allowing them to rent an house without having national identity cards and that’s why they are concealing their identity,” police said.

According to the Hazina Police Post commander John Odaro, they will be charged with obstructing census officials from doing their job.

PENALTIES

Missing out on the census could land a person in jail for one year, pay a fine of Sh500,000, or suffer both penalties.

According to the Statistics (Amendment) Act, 2019, that was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month, any person who hinders or obstructs KNBS officers from carrying out the census commits an offence and face a Sh500,000 fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.

The law also states that failing to answer the enumerators' questions or giving them false information will also attract a similar penalty but with a six-month jail term.

“Any person who wilfully fails to give any information or particular as required under this Act commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both,” the Act states.

-Reporting by Florah Koech, Mary Wambui and Sammy Kimatu.