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Census Enumerators Warned Against Stealing Tablets

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has cautioned people who are being selected to work as census enumerators in the upcoming national census, to resist the temptation of stealing census gadgets.

UBOS is deploying over 110,000 tablet computers in the country’s first-ever digital national population and housing census which is slated for May 2024.

The gadgets will be used for mapping census areas, and all through the 10-day census exercise itself.  

UBOS, however, warns enumerators against losing or trying to steal the census gadgets, which they say will attract severe penalties. 

“Theft of the tablets is one of the concerns we have…that is in case the enumerators decide to run away with the gadgets,” said Chris Mukiza, the UBOS chief executive on Monday. 

Mukiza gave the example of what transpired in neighbouring Kenya during their last national census in 2019 when scores of enumerators disappeared with census tabs.

“In Kenya, some of the numerators would take the tabs to bars and wager them for drinks. Many were arrested of course but a lot of data was lost,” Mukiza said in a televised interview.

According to Kenyan media reports, several other gadgets were stolen through break-ins into storage units.

To guard against such occurrences, the UBOS head said measures have been taken to ensure that all census enumerators and their supervisors are traceable.

“That is why we asked for their NINs. We cannot hire you if you don’t have a National ID,” Mukiza said.

“If you lose or steal our tabs, the law will catch up with you. We shall track you down and get you.

UBOS has spent Shs. 132 billion on the procurement of the census tablets. The first batches of the gadgets started arriving in the county just over a week ago.

The delayed procurement of the tabs was part of the reason the census was postponed from August last year.

By Chimp Reports