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Sack statistics body managers, MPs demand

Saturday August 30 2008

 

Members of Parliament on Saturday called for the sacking of the National Bureau of Statistics managers for allegedly doctoring a poverty index report released recently.

“The people in-charge of the Kenya Bureau of Statistics should be fired. The body came up with fake data and thus a disservice to the country. Some of these technocrats are playing politics. They should quit and go home,” Education assistant minister Ayiecho Olweny, said.

He said MPs realised as early as last year that the poverty report had been fabricated so that some areas could get more resources from the government. He cited Rarieda, Mbita and Bondo constituencies as some of poorest, but pointed out that the report listed them among richest.

“What miracle moved the areas from abject poverty to wealth?” he asked.

Igembe North MP Nthoitha M’mithiaru, whose constituency is the seventh richest, said some people he did not name had lobbied the bureau to skew the report in their favour.

Nyatike’s Omondi Anyanga asked the government to clarify if it has been using the study to allocate funds to constituencies.

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“I want the government to come out categorically and state that this study is not what it uses to allocate funds and that it will not use it in the future,” he said.

But Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito welcomed the report which ranked his constituency as the third richest, a big jump from position 89 in 2004 when the last report was published.

Mr Metito attributed the improvement to his tenure as MP (he is serving second term), saying had improved health and education services in the past five years.

“We are now aiming to be number one,” he said.

The report titled Constituency Report on Well-being shows that some constituencies that were previously ranked as the poorest have suddenly shot up the table to upstage the traditionally well off areas.