Kenya chiefs arrested for ‘inflating’ census figures

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Kenyan police have arrested two chiefs in the north-eastern region for inflating figures during the ongoing national census.

Regional administrator Loyford Kibaara says they allowed enumerators to count people twice in Wajir County.

Report says more chiefs in the county – and in the neighbouring Mandera County – are being sought for the same offence.

Mr Kibaara told the newspaper how census officials doubled or in some cases even tripled members of households, just a week after a pilot exercise had shown fewer numbers.

The arrests have generated a stir on social media because census data determines the amount of money that county governments receive.

It also determines the creation of new constituencies, with highly populated regions getting more seats in parliament.

Politicians in the two affected counties – where mainly ethnic Somalis live – are reported to have recently mounted huge sensitisation campaigns so locals understand the importance of being counted.

The last census in 2009 became controversial after Kenyan Somalis were reported to have registered an increase in their population. The numbers were widely doubted and the matter went to court, which ruled in 2016 that the census figures should be officially accepted.

 

Emmanuel Ukoh