Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations are probing a suspected scheme by politicians and local chiefs from Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties to manipulate data in the just-concluded national housing and population census.
This is after some nine chiefs were arrested last week in Wajir county while facilitating double registration of household sizes in a move aimed at exaggerating the final outcome.
According to police, suspected politicians and chiefs are from Wajir South, Eldas and Wajir North constituencies.
“It is true that the DCI has launched investigations on MPs. It is clear from statements recorded by the chiefs arrested last week that these politicians were involved in misleading Kenya National Bureau of Statistics officials, to manipulate numbers” a source familiar with investigations told People Daily in an interview yesterday.
According to DCI, for instance, the preliminary investigations revealed in the constituencies Eldas, Wajir South and Wajir North abnormal upsurge in households just a week after a pre-listing exercise.
“At this particular stage, we won’t reveal much but investigations are ongoing,” he said only revealing that investigation is also underway on the enumerators’ involved in falsification of census data.
Police believe politicians in the Northern region had instructed chiefs and census officials before the kick-off of the exercise to do anything possible to ensure that Kenyan Somalis, whose numbers were disputed during the 2009 national census, are “rectified” through doctoring of figures.
The illegal venture is allegedly linked to influence resource allocation, boundaries review and ethnic alliances ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Arrested chiefs included Musa Abdi (Khumbi location), Khalif Sirat Farah (Habaswein Central) and his assistant Harret Maow.
“They are all in custody now awaiting charges in court. They will be charged with several offences,” National Police Service spokesman Charles Owino said last week.
However, while confirming the arrests of the three on Friday, Wajir County Commissioner Loyford Kibaara said more chiefs would be arrested after the conclusion of investigations.
Although reports that some areas within Banisa and Mandera West constituencies had inflated their numbers, Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha said the claims were not true though they continue to closely observe the process.
This year’s exercise came to a close on Saturday with the Principal Secretary for State Department of planning, Saitoti Torome saying 95 per cent of Kenyans had been counted.
He ruled out an extension of the exercise despite many Kenyans taking to social media claiming they had not been counted.