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Nyamira census official arrested for using laptop to 'pay' beer bill

Friday August 23 2019

A man in handcuffs. Police in Nyamira on August

A man in handcuffs. Police in Nyamira on August 23, 2019 arrested a census official for using a census laptop and a power bank as collateral after he failed to pay a beer bill. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NATION TEAM
By NATION TEAM
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Police in Nyamira on Friday arrested a census official for using a census laptop and a power bank as collateral after he failed to pay a beer bill.

The officer, an ICT expert, was apprehended after he missed pre-census preparation and briefing meeting on Wednesday.  

Mr Japhan Wachiali, the head of statistics in Nyamira, said the officer has since been interdicted and replaced.

Authorities say that their investigations show that the officer, who wanted drink beer, did not have money to pay his bills.

COLLATERAL

He offered the census gadgets as collateral. It is not clear how much beer he had consumed by the time of his arrest.

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Nyamira County Commissioner Amos Mariba told Nation that the officer was in police custody.

"He wanted alcohol on loan, and committed the gadgets that will be used in the forthcoming census," said Mr Mariba.

Meanwhile, Kisumu residents were on Friday hopeful that this year’s census exercise would bring development. Most residents said they expected improvement in living standards and equitable allocation of resources.

Arch bishop Boniface Atyang ‘of Sayun Roho Church of East Africa at Korando, Kisumu West said he had gathered all his family of ten and was ready for the exercise.  

He has also been spreading the gospel of census to his followers to ensure no one misses the exercise.

BUDGET

“The government needs to plan and budget for its population and this can only be done after census,” he said.

The 42-year-old cleric who has been married for 24 years said he participated in the 1999 and the 2009 census. Mr Fred Odhiambo, from Homa Bay a father of four said he is aware that is required to be around for the exercise.

He said the exercise could translate into better services to Kenyans.

A local trader at Nyalenda, Mr Ogutu Odhiambo said he had called his children that reside out of for the exercise. In Homa Bay, the government suspended evening and night prayers to enable a smooth flow of the exercise.

County Commissioner Herman Shambi instructed Seventh Day Adventist Church and other churches which are currently holding camp meetings to suspend their activities until the census is over.

ALCOHOL LOVERS

The administrator said the government had made arrangements to enable enumerators move freely.

“There will be enough security officers to accompany the census officials,” Mr Shambi said.

In Busia, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha appealed to alcohol lovers who have vowed to cross to Uganda to drink on the census nights to reconsider their decision.

“We encourage all people to be at home and be counted,” he said.

“The numbers will help the government plan well. As much as we can’t force everyone to be at home, our appeal is that you stand out to be counted for your own good,” he added.

Reports by Ruth Mbula, Angeline Ochieng, Donah Atola, George Odiwuor and Gaitano Pessa