Police in Tana Delta, Tana River County have arrested five village elders for inciting locals against the ongoing national population and housing census.
Mohammed Buya Mar, 58, Hamisi Bohola Makangi, 60, Saidi Komora Dhadho, 68, Omar Omara Dhadho, 63, and Mohammed Bakari Komora Buya aged 70 from Munguveni village in Mnazini Sub-Location were arrested Sunday evening after they allegedly incited villagers to chase away census enumerators.
According to the Tana River County Police Commander Fredrick Ochieng, the elders protested against the exercise saying that youth from their village were not offered the jobs.
The elders are alleged to have warned the villagers against opening their doors to “foreigners” (enumerators not from the village), hence thwarting efforts to kick off the exercise as planned.
"We tried to reason with them from the chief’s level and even the deputy county commissioner had a discussion with them but they insisted that they will not allow the exercise until they have some of their own as enumerators," Mr Ochieng said.
The elders were arrested and locked up at the Garsen Police Station as enumerators were accompanied by the police to the village to carry on with the census.
The elders will be charged at a Garsen court on Monday morning.
They face charges of incitement to violence.
Mr Ochieng has appealed to residents not to obstruct any census officials who will be accompanied by security officers bearing identification documents.
He has further warned that any obstruction of the census officials will attract criminal charges.