High court allows IT experts to access KNBS servers over 2019 census

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High Court has allowed the appointment of IT experts to access Kenya National Bureau of Statistics servers in several constituencies in North Eastern after a petition was filed challenging the KPHC 2019 exercise.

Garissa high court judge Charles Kariuki directed the 24 petitioners to appoint IT experts under the supervision of the deputy registrar to access KNBS central servers and tablets or devices which were used to collect data during the 2019 Kenya Population Housing Census exercise between 24th to 31st August 2019 for 13 constituencies.

They include Mandera West, Banisa, Lafey, Mandera East, Mandera North sub counties Garissa Township, Balambala, Lagdera , Dadaab sub counties, Eldas, Tarbaj, Wajir West and Wajir North sub counties.

“The petitioners will appoint the IT experts either jointly (one each county) in issue or as they may agree but not to exceed a maximum of three and will team up with the deputy registrar of this court in gathering the data (in figures of people enumerated) in devices/tablets of and the KNBS central servers for the areas in the issue above in the next 30 days”, Justice Kariuki directed.

However, the court declined to quash the results published in volume 1 of the 2019 KPHC with respect to the listed areas in the petitioners’ counties of Mandera, Garissa and Wajir.

The court also declined to prohibit KNBS from circulating the incorrect, adjusted or altered figures for the listed counties published in November 2019 or any other figures other than the actual enumerated population and housing census results to the independent Electoral and Boundaries commission, the National Assembly, the Senate, the National Treasury or any other organ of the government, constitutional commissions, offices or organizations for purposes delimitation of boundaries and for any other administrative intervention.

The petitioners were seeking orders prohibiting National Planning and Commission on Revenue Allocation from relying on, utilizing or in anyway using the 2019 Kenya population and housing census (KPHC) results published by KNBS on 4th November 2019 in the determination of division of revenue between national and county government or in formulation of any policies, report and recommendations pending hearing and determination of the petition.

The petitioners who are members of Parliament from Mandera, Garissa and Wajir counties filed the case through lawyer Bryan Khaemba and Issa Mansour argued that the 2019 results as published are at variance with the actual enumerated and transmitted results from all enumerated areas and have no correlation with actual enumerated figured from the three counties.