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Police arrest scores of foreigners smuggled into the country ahead of census

Politicians warned against smuggling foreigners into the country to inflate populations

File image of a police vehicle

Police have arrested scores of people of Ethiopian nationality who were allegedly being smuggled into the country to inflate population during census.

Tana River County police boss Fredrick Ochieng confirmed that police manning a checkpoint on the Garissa-Madogo road arrested six people of Ethiopian origin, who are believed to be part f a larger group that was on their way to Tana River.

Ochieng further stated that police are on high alert following intelligence reports that some politicians are planning to smuggle in foreigners, mostly from Somalia and Ethiopia to inflate population during the exercise that officially begins today.

'We have intelligence report of some people planning to smuggle foreigners of mostly Somalia and Ethiopian origin to increase population of people in their respective wards and constituencies,” said Ochieng.

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The county commander appealed to residents to be vigilant and alert police on any suspicious persons, adding that security agencies are searching for more aliens.

Merging constituencies with low population

The developments come in the backdrop of concerns that the results of the census could be used to merge constituencies that lack the required population to make a constituency.

In Tana River, Bura and Galole constituencies are among the 27 constituencies that were allowed to exist in 2009 despite not having the required population.

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A report by the interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission states that a constituency should have a population of 133,138 people.

The report however allows for a constituency to be less or more than the quota on special occasions based on geographical features and urban centres; community of interest, historical, economic and cultural ties; and means of communication.

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