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Faulty Gadgets, Protests by Enumerators Mar Start of Census :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Faulty Gadgets, Protests by Enumerators Mar Start of Census

In some parts of the country the exercise which was supposed to start at 8:00 am had by noon not kicked off.
10 May 2024 17:00

Audio 1

The start of the National Census in different parts of the country encountered several glitches. The exercise which commenced last night by enumerating the floating population, is expected to run for ten days until May 19th.

On Friday in some parts of the country the exercise which was supposed to start at 8:00 am had by noon not kicked off. 

In Luwero District, by 11 am, enumerators in several zones, including Lumu and Kasoma in Luwero town council, said that the tablets were faulty and could not continue with the enumeration exercise. 

Kato Charles and Nabyonga Sauda, who were deployed in the Lumu and Kasoma zones, respectively, said that they failed to log in and commence the census exercise. 

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When contacted for comment, one of the census officials who preferred anonymity due to fear of reprisal, revealed that the tablets arrived late and they did not receive the entire Census Kit. By noon, the census officials were still waiting for the rest of the kits from Kampala.  

In Mbale and Tororo districts, the exercise was also delayed by faulty gadgets and poor internet. Rashid Okello,  one of the enumerators said that they tried to log into the gadget but failed.  

At the Malaba Border, the Town Clerk Isacc Omella said that the census exercise started late due to a lack of umbrellas, boots, bags, and aprons. He said that some enumerators were uncomfortable working without any identity because they may not be trusted by the people. 

In Fort Portal, more than 100 enumerators refused to take part in the exercise protesting the reduction in allowances for training. They argued that at the beginning of the training, they were each promised 20,000 Shillings per day for nine days, but were shocked to learn that the allowance was reduced to 10,000 Shillings without explanation. 

"We shall not count the people until UBOS explains why they have deducted 10,000 shillings," Moses Irumba one of the enumerators said. 

Protests by enumerators were also reported in Kawempe and Makindye Divisions, Kampala. In Kawempe, some of the people who were recruited as enumerators in Bwaise Parish stormed the division headquarters and refused to leave protesting unclear working terms.

In Makindye, the enumerators did not reflector jackets to identify them. They also complained about non-payment and the lack of data connection for the tablets.

When contacted, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics-UBOS Senior Public Relations Officer, Didacus Okoth said that they would address the issues received from the different parts of the country. “We are working around the clock to handle any challenges that are arising. The process has 10 days running and we assure Ugandans it will be completed successfully,” Okoth said. 

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