Leaders in Mandera County have threatened to challenge in court, results of the recent 2019 national population and housing census.
Members of the county assembly (MCA) have said the results had been manipulated to suit certain individual interests at the expense of local residents.
According to the census results released last Monday, Mandera county had registered a total of 882, 079 people compared to 1,200,000 in the 2009 census report.
The Mandera West Sub County had registered 97,983, Banisa 152,043, Kutulo 71,602, Lafey 83,001, Mandera Central 156,623, Mandera East 158, 586 and Mandera North Sub County 142,241 people.
The Rhamu MCA, Kula Abdi said the results did not reflect the reality on the ground as they had reduced compared to the 2009 census results.
Abdi asked the Ag. National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani to review results of Northern Kenya as the reduced figures will mean little share from the consolidated fund.
He demanded for an explanation from the Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) as to why the figures had reduced drastically.
“We have not had any disaster that claimed lives, we are aware that in every household there are over 10 children and it defeats logic why the results indicated our population was on a downward trajectory, ” said Abdi.
The MCA was emphatic that area leaders will stop at nothing, while demanding for the rightful figures of population in the region.
“We will certainly move to the High Court to challenge the results if nothing is done to review the outcome, and if justice will not be served, we are ready to move even to the Supreme Court,” said Abdi.
He noted a big chunk of population in the area might not have been enumerated during the August census, as they had travelled with their livestock to the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Somalia in search of pasture, due to a biting drought in the region at the time.
On his part, the Township ward MCA, Mohamed Abdi said the region will not support the much anticipated Building Bridges Initiative report if the census results for the area were not revised.
“We have been supporting the ruling Jubilee government since its inception but it is time we re-evaluate our loyalty,” said Mohamed.
A resident, Abdirashid Ahmed wondered why their population decreased within 10 years instead of increasing as is the norm.
Ahmed decried the worrying trend, noting that the region will not receive enough resources for development.
Area Governor, Ali Roba has also refuted the results and threatened to move to court for a fresh enumeration exercise.
Surprisingly even after the 2009 census results were released, area leaders moved to the High court to contest the figures but the verdict has not been given to date.
By Dickson Githaiga