Less than a month after the 2019 census results were released, questions are being raised over the data for northern Kenya. Ahmed Bashane, the MP of Tarbaj Constituency in Wajir County, has written to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) saying the published data was doctored to deny the region revenue allocation under the devolved system. According to the MP, the population numbers assigned to the region was "far from certain", and catalogues a number of irregularities. Results of the census showed that the population of Mandera, one of the three North Eastern counties, had declined compared to a decade earlier. The other counties in the region are Wajir and Garissa. Mr Bashane, in a detailed document listing the various irregularities, also accused KNBS of malice and discrimination. Bashane’s complaints come at a time when a new proposed revenue allocation formula based on the latest census results show that the three North Eastern counties lost billions after their population numbers were downgraded. The MP, however, wants the Commission of Revenue Allocation, which came up with the formula, the Senate, National Assembly, National Treasury, and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission not to use the 2019 population numbers until his case is determined.

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Enumerators Through the law firm Sagana, Biriq and Co Advocates, Bashane wants KNBS to furnish them with the gadgets that were used to enumerate and transmit results in his constituency, their serial numbers and make, including a list of all enumerators involved in the exercise. He also wants details of the company used to provide software and back-up service for enumeration, copies of all test results for each mobile device used in Tarbaj Sub-county, copies of the opening reports of all mobile devices used, copies of daily transmission reports, exit reports for each tablet, certificate of all exit reports for each mobile device, as well as audit reports for each mobile device. According to the results, the population for the constituency over the last 10 years has reduced by 54,614. Bashane wants the same reviewed to ascertain the true position. The MP said despite the region having a higher birth rate than the rest of the country, according to another report by KNBS, it did not translate into higher population results. Bashane noted that Demographic Health Survey has consistently shown that their household sizes and birth rates were higher than the rest of the country, adding that the attempt to suppress the population figures for North Eastern amounts to discrimination.

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Ahmed BashaneTarbaj ConstituencyKNBSCensus