Kenya women’s lobby faults census results

September 1, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1 – The Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) on Wednesday joined the criticism against the government for canceling the Census results of eight districts citing inconsistencies.

MYWO said the move was uncalled for and argued that it was a threat to national cohesion and integration.

Chairperson Rukia Subow further asked the government to release the results of the affected regions in order to avert unnecessary tensions.

“To say the truth, foreigners having genuine Kenyan documents like Identity Cards or passports can happen because our institutions have failed but Kenyan Somalis should not get punished because of that. It is not fair and it is not their mistake,” she said noting that Kenya had witnessed an influx of refugees from war torn Somalia.

“We know that we have three refugee camps in Garissa district and this will be very unfair for the Kenyans living in those areas.”

Ms Subow added that some of the reasons given by the government over the nullification held no water as the communities in the affected areas were largely pastoral.

One of the arguments held by the government was that the birth and death ratios in the areas did not balance. Other reasons were that the men outnumbered women by the ratio of 3:1 and that the household size was not consistent with the population size.

“People are not even registered when they die because of the inaccessibility of hospitals. Some die and are buried on the same day and no records are kept. Many children are also born in the bushes and are not registered so some of the excuses given by the government are just baseless,” Ms Subow protested.

She said that there was no need for a re-count as the results would be the same: “We cannot have another recount because it would be expensive. The only way forward is releasing the results.”

She also criticised the government for using tribe as an indicator arguing that it went against the spirit of the new Constitution. She said that the move would encourage negative tribalism instead of promoting cohesion.

“We have started on a very bad footing because listing people according to their tribe takes us back to tribal majorities and minorities. Some tribes are listed as the big five and this might make others feel like they are discriminated against,” she said.

She further said that the lobby group would move to court over the nullification if the government continued withholding the results: “If the government comes up with a better solution, I don’t think we will go to court because it will only prolong the issue.”

The government on Tuesday released the census results but cancelled those from North Eastern’s Lagdera, Wajir East, Mandera Central, Mandera East and Mandera West districts. Results from Turkana Central, Turkana North and Turkana South were also cancelled.

According to Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya, the inconsistencies in the results were discovered after a post analysis of the August 2009 census.


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