National Census Enumerator Stabbed in Buikwe

As the National Population and Housing Census commenced across the country on Friday, an enumerator working in Njeru municipality, Buikwe District, encountered a harrowing ordeal when he was attacked by three assailants and stabbed. Mr. James Kalyango, assigned to enumerate residents of Namuwaya Village, initially took to a megaphone at around 6:30 am to broadcast announcements urging locals to stay home and participate in the census. However, during this task, he was viciously assaulted by the assailants, leaving him injured and requiring hospitalization.

According to Kalyango, the attack occurred as he relayed the announcements, with the assailants assaulting him and one stabbing him in the ear, leaving him injured and abandoned. He was later rescued by a passerby who took him to the hospital. The local community, represented by Namuwaya village LC1 chairman Joseph Ssajjabbi, expressed shock at the incident, noting its rarity in their close-knit community. Speculating on the motive behind the attack, Ssajjabbi suggested that the attackers may have believed Kalyango possessed equipment belonging to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos).

Law enforcement authorities, led by Njeru Division Police Commander Ms. Edith Basalirwa, have initiated a search for the perpetrators. Despite this unfortunate incident, Basalirwa affirmed that the census operation proceeded smoothly in other areas, with enumeration efforts extending to hotels, lodges, and checkpoints.

However, challenges were also encountered in other regions. In Busia District, enumerators faced shortages of essential materials, including torches, bags, umbrellas, and reflectors, hindering their ability to conduct the census effectively. Enumerators expressed concerns about personal safety due to the lack of adequate equipment, particularly while counting the floating population during the census night. Additionally, technical difficulties, such as system failures and difficulty logging into Ubos servers, further impeded the enumeration process.

Similar issues were reported in Jinja City, where faulty machines and delayed deployment of enumerators led to disruptions and confusion. Despite these setbacks, officials assured that efforts were underway to address the challenges and ensure the census proceeded as planned.

Alfred Geresom Musamali, the Publicity and Advocacy Advisor for the National Population and Housing Census 2024, acknowledged the widespread challenges but affirmed the commitment to resolve them promptly.

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