UNDER-REPRESENTATION FEARS

Nyeri senator demands thorough audit of 2019 census

He claims that Nyeri has over a million people, not 759,164

In Summary

• The senator claims that the census has in the past been used to disadvantage some regions during elections.

• Two Nyeri constituencies – Tetu and Mukurweini – might be scrapped for falling below the constitutional population threshold.

Former Mathira mp Ephraim Maina addresses a press conference in Nairobi on March 13,2013.
Former Mathira mp Ephraim Maina addresses a press conference in Nairobi on March 13,2013.
Image: FILE

The census results for Nyeri do not represent the reality on the ground, Senator Ephraim Maina said on Wednesday.

Maina called for a thorough audit of the results released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showing that Nyeri has a population of 759,164.

He said the voter register used in the 2017 general election showed that Nyeri had 400,000 registered voters.

“Normally, the voters are three times less the total number of the population. This means the total population in Nyeri as per the recent census should have been slightly above 1 million,” he told the Star.  

The senator claimed that census has in the past been used to disadvantage some regions during elections.

He argued that the results might be used to dilute the push for one man, one vote principle rooted for by Mt Kenya region.

Maina said Mt Kenya region was disadvantaged during the constituency delimitation conducted by the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission in 2009.

Based on the census results, IEBC might scrap upwards of 40 constituencies for falling below the constitutional population threshold.

Two Nyeri constituencies – Tetu and Mukurweini – face the purge. They respectively have 80,453 and 89,137 people, according to 2019 census.

The senator alleged that the results are part of a wider scheme to deny the region proper democratic representation.

“There has been an underlying feeling in Mt Kenya that there was manipulation of constituencies during the last delimitation exercise. What we are seeing is a plan to deny us the one man, one vote right,” he said.

Mt Kenya MPs had challenged the constituency delimitation in court but the matter is yet to be determined.

Maina said the Kriegler Report prepared after the 2007 post-election violence raised the issue of under-representation of some communities.

He said the next elections will not be credible if the region will not be accorded its power of voting.