POPULATION COUNT

Audit 2019 census results, Western leaders urge

Say census should generate timely and accurate data to be used in effective planning and resource distribution.

In Summary

• Former Medical Services Minister Amukowa Anangwe said any unexpected population trends from the 2009 projections should be sufficiently audited. 

• Only the audit will end speculations and ensure just distribution of national resources.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani receives the 2019 Census results from President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, on Monday.
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani receives the 2019 Census results from President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, on Monday.
Image: PSCU

A section of Western leaders wants the national census results released on Monday by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics audited over glaring irregularities.

KNBS on Monday released the 2019 census results that put the country’s population at 47,213,282 up from 38,610,997 in 2009.

The results have been criticised by several leaders from different regions with others threatening to go to court because the figures do not reflect the real Kenyan population.

Former Medical Services Minister Amukowa Anangwe said any unexpected population trends from the 2009 projections should be sufficiently audited and accounted for to end speculations and ensure just distribution of national resources.

Anangwe said that the national census and housing census should generate timely and accurate data to be used in effective planning for service and allocation of public resources equitably.

“However, the census could be a fishy enterprise in practice when population figures are cooked or manipulated to bestow advantage unfairly to some groups and regions to the detriment of less favoured ones,” he said in a statement yesterday.

 He added, “The annual national population growth rates in the inter-census period since 2009 have been known, and the anticipated population figures in 2019 were projected upfront in respect of each domain,” he said.

For example, he said, in 2009, Kakamega had a larger population size than Kiambu, but in 2019, Kiambu had overtaken Kakamega by 550,126 people. 

This means the overall population growth in the inter-census period is 48.9 per cent for Kiambu and a paltry 12.4 per cent for Kakamega.

 Anangwe said that adverse reactions already made about the census results for some regions require appropriate and sufficient explanations from the government. 

“This is a phenomenal occurrence that could spark speculations,” he said.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula said that the office of auditor general should carry out a forensic audit of the whole census exercise to establish the real population size for Kenya.

“The auditor general should audit the census results released by the KNBS, look at the previous census report and compare with the birth and death registers and come up with the right figures,” he said.

He said that the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Implementation will summon the relevant officials to shed light on how they arrived at the figures.  

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale dismissed the 2019 census result that indicated that the population in Ikolomani constituency had dropped from 146,153 in 2009 to 111,743 in 2019.

“There was no epidemic in Ikolomani. These fake census results are meant to deny some regions and communities the national sharable revenue,” he said on Twitter.