Kenyans risk jail for failure to offer census information

Monday November 26 2018

Kenya's Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Kenyans who fail to offer information during next year’s census risk a $1,000 (Sh100,000) fine or a year in jail.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has published the fine in fresh regulations that will guide the collection of population data that will start on the midnight of August 24.

Some people have previously declined to provide personal details like number of wives, those living with disability, number of children in households, deaths in the family and ownership of household goods.

“Any person who fails to provide the required information, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or to both such fine and imprisonment,” says Mr Rotich’s notice.

A mobile phone

Questions will touch on ethnicity, orphanhood status, albinism, school attendance status and education attainment.


Children aged three and above will be asked if they own a mobile phone. Older family members will also be asked if they know how to use the internet.

The government will also be seeking to know from children if they can operate a computer, a laptop or a tablet.

For 15-year-olds and above, the State wants to know if they are familiar with e-commerce.

Wealth distribution

The census results will also be used by the electoral agency in the new border demarcation ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Kenya will procure about 170,000 digital tablets to conduct its national population census next year in a switch from the previous manual exercise.

The population data is often shared with key government ministries and departments to guide resource in allocation and wealth distribution.