KNBS: It’s too early to critique census results

Friday, November 8th, 2019 04:23 |
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director General Zachary Mwangi

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) director general Zachary Mwangi has told politicians claiming the results of this year’s census have been doctored to wait for the final report that will give finer details to justify the findings.

He told the leaders to wait for more analytical data on the exercise, saying it will explain population trends in the regions.

“We are yet to interrogate the data so that we can explain the changes (on population). It’s (therefore) premature to state that there was a decrease or an increase of people in a region (because even if) we can see it, we can’t explain it until we give the full report,” Mwangi said during a meeting with editors yesterday.

The figures released on Monday, Mwangi said, are preliminary and details will soon be out and after approximately one year, the in-depth analytical will be made public.Fears of some constituencies being scrapped due to lack of  requisite numbers, inadequate resources and concerns of having their 2022 game plans jeopardised sparked fury among politicians, who have even threatened to sue over census results.

Later in a press conference at Teleposta, Mwangi (pictured) said politicians should wait for the second report that will have an analysis of the real number of people at the constituency level.

But according to him, population increase or decrease in a region can be caused by various factors such as fertility, urbanisation, mortality and migration, noting that the subsequent reports will highlight the issues deeply.

“(For example) there is a drop in fertility rate in this country but we cannot explain (that) with facts. Also we have people who were counted in some areas in 2009 but in 2019, they were counted in other areas and those are the issues that will be addressed in the subsequent reports,” he said.

For instance, in Mandera county, the results showed the population has reduced from 1.02 million in 2009 to 867,457 this year, drawing fury of local leaders who accused powerful people of manipulating it over 2022 politics.

Leaders from Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua, Tana River, Mandera, Turkana, Samburu, Garissa, Wajir and Bungoma, part of the North Rift, Kisii and Kakamega have also complained, and termed the figures unacceptable. 

Governor Kiraitu Murungi (Meru) and his Tharaka Nithi counterpart Muthomi Njuki said the results in the two counties were deliberately “cooked”. 

 Reporting by Eric Wainaina, Oliver Musembi and Alvin Mwangi.

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