By Abel Amala and Brian Okoth
Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has faulted the accuracy of the statistics on population released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday, February 21.
Khalwale claims contrary to the data released by the KNBS, which showed the Kikuyu ethnic group as the most populous community in Kenya, the Luhya group, according to him, is the most populous tribe in Kenya.
According to the 2019 Census results released Friday, members of the Kikuyu ethnic community are the majority in Kenya with a population of 8.14 million.
Luhya ethnic group follows with a population size of 6.82 million, Kalenjins come in third with a size of 6.4 million, the Luos are fourth with a population size of 5.1 million, the Kambas are fifth with a population size of 4.7 million, Somalis wrap up the Top Six, with a collective population of 2.8 million.
Members of the Kisii ethnic community are seventh with a population size of 2.7 million, the Mijikenda are eighth with a population size of 2.5 million.
Members of the Meru ethnic group are ninth with a population size of 2.0 million, and Maasais wrap up the Top Ten with a population size of 1.2 million.
And now, Khalwale has poked holes in the validity of those figures, saying the Statistics Bureau was compromised to balloon the population size of the Kikuyu ethnic group so that when it comes to allocation of funds to counties based on population size, the community receives the biggest share.
Khalwale spoke at Musingu area in Ikolomani on Saturday at the burial of a resident.
“According to the Census report released yesterday (Friday, February 21), members of the Kikuyu group are bigger in population than Luhyas. I would like Kenyans to know that according to us, academicians, the most populous community in Kenya is the Luhya group. And that ‘fact’ is from statisticians and professors from the University of Nairobi. The joke that the government wants to engage in by showing that the Luhya community has fewer people than the Kikuyu community, is motivated by the fact that 45 per cent of funds to County Governments is allocated based on population size,” said Khalwale.
“They want us to earn little compared to our Kikuyu counterparts. We should get what we deserve,” he added.
A number of counties have drawn on or fully adopted the Commission on Revenue Allocation’s (CRA) formula for distributing funds to counties. This formula was revised by the Senate in 2016, but counties have thus far drawn on the formula adopted in 2012.
How does this formula distribute revenue among the counties?
In general, the county’s share of each parameter determines its share of funds. For example, for population, 45 percent of all the money for counties is set aside to be distributed using population. Then, a county’s population as a share of the total national population determines its share of these population funds. For example, if 10 percent of the national population lives in one county, then that county would receive 10 percent of the 45 percent available for population.
In his speech, Khalwale also urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to call off all BBI meetings held weekly across the country, saying “the money used in organising those meetings should be used in printing copies of the BBI report and distributed to Kenyans so as to raise public awareness”.