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Kenya: Northeast Somalis rubbish census results, claim higher figures


Somali community living in Kenya northeast province has claimed they are more the 2.7 million declared by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics on Friday. The community is challenging the 2019 census results in court on grounds the figures may have been corrupted.

Source indicates that the defendants intend to attach birth records to prove the numbers stated by KNBS are incorrect. MPs Ahmed Kolosh (Wajir West) and Abdi Shurie said yesterday that the community is also not happy about being referred to as “Kenyan Somali.”

They argued it is not statistically possible the community’s population has only increased by 400,000. In 2009, the count showed 2.3 million Somalis. “We are not agreeing with what happened. In 2009, Balambala had 97,000 people and now we are 30,000. It doesn’t make sense,” Shurie said.

He added that had the KNBS given the real figure, the community would be in the top four. “The fact that they were able to doctor and not get us below number six sends a message,”  Kolosh said he accompanied the enumerators and recorded over 265,000 people only for the report to show they are 121,000.

Despite the protest, experts and political observers agree that the Somali community is turning to be the next big thing on matters numbers. Figures from the 2019 count show that Somalis have joined the league of big tribes – Meru, Maasai, and Kisii; hence a swing vote.

“Since the five big communities are the ones that produce candidates and running mates, they are likely to fall back on Somalis, Merus, Maasais, and Kisiis.”

“Though in the BBI process, ethnic numbers will not yield much, the population presents a paradigm shift which we can’t ignore,” the Suba South MP said.

The fact that there is BBI, everybody is trying to get a piece of the cake. With their unity, they are poised to get plum positions in the government their numbers tell tales that in terms of resources, they will have to get more.

“It will even get higher because we the leaders of Somalis are encouraging more births to our community,” Kenya national parliament majority leader Adan Bare Duale said.

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