CENSUS 2019: Why UhuRuto Strongholds Will Control 2022 Election Trends | Battle Lines Drawn
Nov. 05, 2019
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto's strongholds control nearly half of Kenya's 47.6 million population, significantly shaping the battle for numbers in 2022.
The 2019 Census released on Monday provides the clearest picture of all regions' numbers that will influence the 2022 showdown. Politicians know where they must hunt for votes.
Census figures will also be crucial in demarcating boundaries, another electoral consideration, and in the allocation of resources to the counties as well as national planning.
The Census results show that the Jubilee political bastions of Mt Kenya, Rift Valley and Northeastern have a total of 22.4 million people.
With high population numbers, the regions will also have a big share of the billions of shillings allocated to the 47 counties each year.
The census figures show that Kenya's population has increased four times from 10.9 million in 1969 to 47.6 million in 2019, with an average growth of one million people annually.
In the 1979 census, the total was 15.3 million, rising to 21.4 million 10 years later, climbing to 28.9 million in 1999 and 37.7 million in 2009.
Opposition chief Raila Odinga's Nyanza, Western and Coast political turf is home to 16.4 million Kenyans. Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka's Ukambani region has a population of 3.5 million people.
The Coast region has 4.2 million people, Northeastern 2.5 million, Upper Eastern 2.9 million, Nyanza 6.2 million and Western six million people.
An analysis of the figures released by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics shows that Central Kenya has a population of 5.4 million, while Upper Eastern counties have a total of 2.5 million Kenyans.
This means that the larger Mt Kenya region with eight counties has a total of slightly more than eight million people up, from 6.6 million captured in the 2009 census.
With an aggressive campaign by Mt Kenya leaders for residents to turn up for the census, the results showed that the region's population grew by 1.3 million people in 10 years.
The DP's expansive Rift Valley bastion has a total of 11.7 million people.
The population of the 13 Rift Valley counties rose from 9.2 people counted in the 2009 Census, representing a growth of 2.5 million Kenyans in the past decade alone.
However, some residents of Rift Valley hail from Central Kenya.
The Mt Kenya region, which has been bragging of having the tyranny of numbers, has already opposed the push for a change of the country's system of governance from a presidential to a parliamentary structure.
The region's politicians have said they will reject calls to amend the Constitution to do away with the presidential system, saying they stand to lose out if Kenya adopts a parliamentary system.
The Census figures will influence 2022 political formations as politicians shift their focus to the battle for votes.
The results are also significant because they will be central in the boundaries delimitation by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission expected before 2022.
The figures will also inform the allocation of resources to counties as population is an integral element in determining the counties' revenue-sharing formula by the Commission on Revenue Allocation.
The population in Raila's political bedrocks of Nyanza, Western and Coast went up to 16.4 million from the 14.2 million people recorded in 2009 Census, making it the region with second-fastest growth rate after Rift Valley.
However, with the impending death of Raila's 2017 political vehicle — Nasa — the dynamics in the Western region are likely to shift amid calls for ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya boss Moses Wetang'ula to form a single alliance.
~ Scooper Original
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