Mandera Senator Mohamed Maalim Mahmud has written to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) complaining of a mix up in the codes that will be used in listing the Somali speaking communities.
Mr Mahamud, in his letter, disputed the listing of several sub-tribes under the larger Somali community.
“Note that all sub-tribes listed under this heading do not belong to Somali tribe,” stated the senator.
According to the senator, the provided codes will mislead residents of Mandera during the population census.
“I don’t know why the KNBS introduced those codes in the first place since they are yet to reply to my letter,” he said.
Mr Mahamud wants Merile and Murule sub-tribes merged under one code and Corner tribe merged with eight others including Shegal, Warabey, Shamoge and shabelle among others.
He argued that Garre under 532 is the same as Gurreh (code 509) and wants both merged.
“Lesyan is a Somali sub-tribe and it should be on its own but not counted as a sub-tribe of the Corner tribe,” he said.
He wants KNBS to provide a code for the Herti sub-tribe before the census commences.
The senator’s concerns came as a total of 1,472 enumerators took the oath of office and secrecy on Monday ready for the weekend exercise.
Of these, 382 content supervisors to be deployed in different areas in Mandera took oath last week while 43 ICT supervisors were sworn in in Garissa.
This year’s population census remains a litmus test for the Mandera leadership after benefiting from the alleged inflated figures in the 2009 census results.
The senator was unsure if Mandera’s population will surpass the 2009 figure of 1.2 million people.
“I don’t know if our population will be more or less (that of 2009) but we are doing all we can to sensitise our people on the importance of this exercise,” he said by phone.
The senator said a census awareness campaign will be launched in the county this week.
“We shall all be in the county from Tuesday ready to launch the census campaign ahead of the weekend process,” he said.
Already, MCAs have retreated to their respective wards to convince locals to participate in the census.
There are already sharp divisions in Mandera with some leaders who are opposed to Governor Ali Roba’s leadership threatening to rally locals to boycott the exercise.
The group argues that the 2009 census has only benefitted the governor and his close allies.