Fall out as political leaders dispute 2019 census results

Fall out as political leaders dispute 2019 census results
President Uhuru Kenyatta receives the 2019 Census results at State House Nairobi. PHOTO| COURTESY

Results of the 2019 population census released on Monday have triggered mixed reactions with several leaders disputing the figures recorded for various regions across the country.

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has threatened to take legal action against the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) over what he terms as misrepresentation of the number of people in his county.

The Governor does not agree with the 1.5 million figure recorded as the population for Meru County. He claims that Ngare Mare residents have been listed under Isiolo County.

Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki, Tharaka MP Gitonga Murugara and Chuka Igamba Ng’ombe MP Patrick Munene have declared the county’s 393,177 population figure as low and have vowed to petition KNBS to review the numbers.

Kandara Member of Parliament Alice Wahome has also disputed the 1,056,640 figure recorded as the population for Murang’a County.

“I’m shocked to see those results because that is not we expected. I think there is something fishy that has been done. But we shall have a meeting as Mt. Kenya leaders to look into these figures keenly and take a position on this issue,” said the MP.

Kisii Senator Prof. Sam Ongeri has challenged the census outcome showing Kisii has a population of 1.26 million people and 605,576 in Nyamira.

Ongeri says the numbers could be slightly higher adding that the low numbers will greatly affect the revenue allocation to the two counties in Gusii region.

A section of political leaders in Homa Bay County led by National Assembly Minority leader John Mbadi have, however, expressed satisfaction with the results, saying they are reasonable compared to the population census conducted in 2009.

According to Mbadi, the results on population growth in Homa Bay is basically reasonable and respect the population partner of the county. This year’s population census results indicated that Homa Bay County has 1.13 million people against 963,794 people in 2009.

Mbadi, who is the MP for Sub South constituency, says there is nothing abnormal in this year’s census results on population growth in Homa Bay compared to 2009.

His position was echoed by Homa Bay County Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata who said the census exercise was conducted scientifically hence he has no reason to object the results on population growth in Homa bay County.

Reporting by Aly Abich, Lisper Kathure, Joseph Wachira, Hyline Ocharo.

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