GAITHO: The Kenyan was under-counted - Daily Nation

I protest; our ethnic community, the Kenyan, was under-counted

Monday September 6 2010

By MACHARIA GAITHO

The fellows who did the national population census conned us. The census was rigged against my community, so it should be scrapped so that we all can be counted afresh.

Of course we will demand that we first be given enough time to procreate if we are to be counted on an even playing field with the so-called majority tribes.

While some argue that it is divisive and retrogressive in this century to give population numbers by ethnic groups, our concern is that we were under-counted. We don’t even appear on the ethnic list.

That makes us an endangered community, so under the new Constitution, it is the responsibility of the government to fund special programmes to help us increase our numbers.

The government can help by excusing us from work, school and all other activities so that we can direct our energies to the activities that will boost our population.

That will mean, of course, that the government will pay us to take second honeymoons in the Seychelles, Zanzibar, the Caribbean, Maldives and other exotic places where the romantic juices seem to flow with extra vigour.

For those yet to find suitable mates, a certain Nigerian visitor claims that his intercession with the Almighty guarantees success in the pursuit of love.

I am sure the government will have no trouble meeting the fee note to be presented by Pastor Chris Ojigbani. Leftovers from the promulgation budget can take care of that.

It can be called the procreation budget, and can also include lines for the various waganga wa Tanga presently littering our shores, plus viagra, omukebero and all the other aids towards the activity that will save our community from extinction.

While we take in the sun, sand and you-know-what in exotic shores, someone will be required to till our fields and guard our houses.

Those surplus Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin and Luo who dominate the population league tables are full of unemployed that can be helped out under the Kazi kwa Vijana programme.

Meanwhile, Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya and all his head-counters must explain why some of us were not counted or why our numbers were deliberately suppressed.

We raised the issue of our neglected and marginalised identity way before the census, and were assured that this time we would be properly counted and recorded.

The minister personally assured me that in this census, we would not be lumped together under another ethnic group, but would have our own identity, under a code already created for that purpose.

We trusted him. And come the census, and we were asked our tribe, we answered faithfully and slept soundly knowing that at last we would be recognised.

But come the census results, and it was all about Somali, Luhya, Kamba, Kikuyu, Luo, Meru, Kalenjin and those other disparate groups that make up this country.

However, there was no room for the most important group of all – the Kenyan. I just can’t figure out why the minister, nay, the government, had to lie to us.

For that reason I reject the census and demand to be counted afresh.

* * * *
Our national soccer team lost again. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

You see, Harambee Stars losing is not news, not even if they lose to fellows from a tiny place faraway place ranked as one of the tiniest and poorest countries in West Africa and hardly appearing on the African, leave alone global, football rankings.

But then there are two things that gives Guinea Bissau a big advantage over Kenya when they meet on the football pitch:

1. Guinean football is not run by those sad, inept and totally incompetent jokers that run football in Kenya.

2. On the pitch, the Guinean players can recognise each other because they have a distinctive colours. That is unlike the Kenyans who one day will appear in red, another day in white and the next day in rainbow colours.

Come the next round of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers, our team might play with pride, and their passes will not go astray, if they borrow the national colours of our rugby or athletics teams.