Did the AG seek to have devolved funds meant for Mandera reduced in court?
“….In Mandera, the Jubilee government, through the Attorney General, have tried three times, heading to court seeking to have money meant for Mandera reduced by 40 per cent. That is a sign that they don’t want devolution to thrive…”
Nasa Co-Principal Musalia Mudavadi at Nasa Rally in Mandera on July 11
In August 2010 while releasing the 2009 Population Census results the Minister of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 announced that results from eight districts had been cancelled, according to the Kenya Law database.
These were Lagdera, Mandera East, Mandera Central, Mandera West, Wajir East, Turkana North, Turkana South and Turkana Central.
On the same day the census results were announced, the then Minister for Planning, Wycliffe Oparanya, came before Parliament and issued a statement on the census results, explaining that the results from the eight districts were irregular, necessitating the cancellation.
The former minister said there were serious inconsistencies in the figures including growth rates that could not be explained, enumerated figures falling above the projected and previous census and significant growth in household size without corresponding growth in number of household.
Following the cancellation, five individuals who described themselves as registered voters and residents of eight districts moved to court seeking orders to quash the decision of the Planning minister cancelling the census results for the eight districts, in Miscellaneous Civil Application No 309 of 2010.
They also wanted the court to prohibit the National Bureau of Statistics from publishing the projected results, or circulating any other figures apart from the published 2009 census results. In addition, an order was sought to prohibit the ministry from relying on any projected results other than the published 2009 census results.
On February the same year the then Minister for Planning Wycliffe Oparanya tabled revised post census figures in Parliament showing that the population count in the eight districts were inflated by 40 per cent.
But he said that because of the court orders the government was forced to use the preliminary report to allocate Constituency Development Funds and other devolved funds in the fiscal year 2011/2012.
The same data was forwarded to the IEBC for use in the delimitation of new boundaries during the creation of 80 new constituencies that were approved by Parliament in June, 2011. It was also used by the Commission for Revenue Allocation to make county allocations.
High Court Judge Justice Mohamed Warsame ruled against the government decision to nullify the census results, on February 7, 2012.
The government appealed the judgment that same year, in Civil Appeal 64 of 2012, and was partly successful, in that the blanket ban on publishing results other than the 2009 census results was lifted for the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission, the first respondent and the second respondent, Noor Maalim Hussein.
In 2016, the county governments of Wajir, Mandera and Garissa went to court asking that the government be prohibited from using amended figures from the 2009 figures for revenue allocation in Petition No. 514 of 2016.
On 27 February 2017, the courts ruled in favour of the three counties, and prohibited the National Bureau of Statistics and the Commission for Revenue Allocation from using any figures apart from the original census figures for determining the population parameter and calculating shareable revenue.
Nasa Co-Principal Musalia Mudavadi is incorrect to say the Attorney General on behalf of the government appealed against the ruling barring it from revising Mandera’s population by 40 per cent three times, which would have reduced the money allocated to the county government and through devolved funds. The government appealed only once.