2019 census exercise started off on a peaceful note until Kenyans started getting crazy ideas on how to boycott it. One Willis Odongo Okoth saw it not fit to participate in the census exercise and opted to chase away census officer who had gone to his home to enumerate his family on Saturday and Sunday.
Appearing before Senior Principal Magistrate in Homabay, the court was told that on the nights of August 24 and 25 at Yao village within Homa-Bay Sub County, the accused chased away a census official identified as Atieno Rose, barring her from collecting statistical data for the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
The Statistics (Amendment) Act (2019,) signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July prescribes a penalty of Sh500,000 for any person who is charged with obstructing census officials. The penalty was reviewed from Sh100,000. The hearing of the case was set for September 12, 2019.
Okoth was charged with obstructing the population census but he pleaded not guilty on the charges leveled against him and was released on a bond of Ksh.20, 000
An almost similar incident surfaced in Kitui where police arrested two locals who allegedly refused to cooperate with enumerators conducting the ongoing national census. The two were among three locals who told census officials that they did not wish to participate in the exercise since they have been counted in the Bible, although the third person later agreed to cooperate with the census officials.