Discontent with rising cost of living grows

July 15, 2011 3:03 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 15 – Thirty eight percent of Kenyans are not happy with the way the government is handling the rising cost of living, a new poll has shown.

Strategic PR and Research Company Chief Executive Caesar Handa said on Friday the poll also shows that Kenyans are unhappy with the government’s failure to fight corruption and impunity as well as resettle Internally Displaced Persons.

“When you look at the rising cost of goods and services we find that it is in the Coast province where this is seen as the biggest failure of the government,” he said.

Mr Handa says that people between the ages of 30 to 39 years seem to be most affected by the high cost of living and would like to see the government tackle the issue before the next general election.

Failure to fight insecurity in the country has bothered 9.2 percent of the respondents as 8.4 percent point out on inability to fight negative ethnicity.

The poll also indicates that 8.4 percent of the respondents want the new Constitution implemented on schedule while 7.8 percent want the government to create jobs for the youth.

The poll targeted 3,070 adults aged between 18 to over 50 in all eight provinces in the country and was conducted at the household level.

Forty percent of those polled listed the enactment of the new Constitution as the grand coalition government’s biggest achievement.

At the same time, the poll shows Prime Minister Raila Odinga is still the most preferred candidate to succeed President Mwai Kibaki if elections were to be held today.

Mr Handa said the poll pegged Mr Odinga’s popularity at 42.6 percent, followed by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalonzo Musyoka at 21.4 percent and 9 percent respectively.

“We are yet to see a case where the top five candidates are getting higher support from a province other than their own. We are seeing a case where support for candidates is largely based on the fact that they came from a certain area,” Mr Handa said.

He added: “So ethnicity is not a question that you can brush over, it a factor.”

The poll also shows that Mr Odinga is likely to edge out Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto and Mr Musyoka in a presidential runoff.

“Uhuru Kenyatta is the popular amongst the seven who are touted in the alliance, 46 percent saying they would prefer him to Mr Ruto, while Kalonzo Musyoka comes in at six percent but when it comes to the who they prefer as the alliance running we are seeing a change, that there are people who would prefer Mr Ruto with Mr Kenyatta as the running mate and vice a versa,” he added.

Half of the Kenyans polled said they would vote out their current MP due to their poor development record at the constituency level.

Mr Handa said: “People are struggling with life all over the country, people attribute some of the problems that they are having as citizens to the fact that their Members of Parliament are out of touch with what is affecting them.”

“Payment of taxation, mismanagement of funds at the local level, the issue of MPs employing delaying tactics in terms of the implementation of the Constitution that are being mentioned as the reason for their dislike of their MPs,” he explained.


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