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National Census: Day one flops in Wakiso as residents fume over no-show enumerators

President Yoweri Museveni launching the NPHC 2024 activity on December 12th 2023.

Wakiso, (UG):– Thousands of residents in Wakiso District were on Friday left in disarray over the non-appearance of census enumerators at their homes despite the first day of the census exercise being a national public holiday.

The dissatisfaction was mainly raised by the working class who said they stayed home till after midday expecting to interface with the census officials but in vain.

A section of residents whom DailyExpress reached out to said decried how a full working day was wasted with the enumerators not showing up in their homes. “Today beginning a public holiday they expected counting to start with vigour,” a concerned resident told this website.

This publication on Monday reported how, “Government of Uganda declared Friday, May 10, 2024, a public holiday” to enable citizens to fully participate in the sixth National Housing and Population Census exercise.

The announcement was later confirmed by Uganda Bureau of Statistics chairperson Dr Albert Byamugisha in his address to the Media on Monday, May 06, at Police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala. “The public is encouraged to stay at home during the census period and cooperate with enumerators to ensure accurate and comprehensive data collection,” Dr Byamugisha said.

Day one flops

Reports from different parts of the country are not any different as cases ranging from failure of data collection machines to lack of appointment letters for enumerators in some districts have caused delays, for officials to start work.

Through observation by this report, it was discovered that by Friday afternoon, Namugongo Roads were low with motorist and human traffic, a sign that people had stayed home to be counted. The turn-up of today’s results will definitely affect the outcome of the entire Census exercise.

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The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) on Monday warned Ugandans against refusing to voluntarily offer themselves for counting in the 2024 National Housing and Population Census saying those who refuse or dodge the exercise face tough punishments including six months in jail.

According to the officials, these punishments are prescribed for persons convicted for breaching provisions of Section 29(3) of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) Act, 1998 which states that “any person who hinders an authorised officer, in this case enumerators and other UBOS officials, from performing lawful duties, refuses to furnish required information or makes false declarations commit an offence.”

If convicted, the penalties under the Act are imprisonment of up to six months a fine not exceeding thirty currency points (Shs600,000), or both.

“Ugandans who resist or sabotage the National Housing and Population Census due to start this Friday face up to six months in jail or a Shs600,000 fine,” Mr James Muwonge, the director of methodology and statistical coordination at UBOS, said.

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The President of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, launched the NPHC 2024 activity on December 12th 2023. After every 10 years, Uganda holds a national census and the last one was carried out in 2014.

The census figures play a critical role in guiding planning, policy formulation, and programme implementation as well as monitoring development progress in line with the national goals and objectives.

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