The poll conducted by Infotrak Harris shows that majority of the respondents who felt that politicians are not patriots accused them of being selfish and insensitive to the plight of Kenyans exhibited by increasing their salaries and perceived engagement in corruption.
Infotrak CEO Angela Ambitho said that the poll also showed that most Kenyans feel that ordinary citizens love their country more than politicians.
“Asked to rate the patriotism of our politicians, none of the surveyed respondents rated them as being very patriotic, with majority (52 percent ) rating them as non patriotic,” she said.
Other reasons why Kenyans thought that their politicians are not patriotic included the perception that politicians do not lead by example for instance in openly preaching peace while they act on the contrary, encouraging tribalism and their refusal to pay taxes.
Of the 48 percent who felt that politicians are ‘somewhat patriotic’ 23 percent felt that politicians are slightly devoted to addressing the country’s problems while 21 percent held that some fight corruption while others are engaged in development activities.
The poll further showed that seven percent of Kenyans did not at all feel patriotic primarily because they lack employment opportunities and poor governance.
Fifty-nine percent of Kenyans indicated they are very patriotic citing strong commitment to the country, their advocacy for peace and unity in their communities and the country in general and their active payment of taxes to ensure nation building.
Majority of respondents who indicated that ordinary citizens love Kenya than politicians were between 26 and 40 years of age.
The poll conducted between February 5 and 8 also showed that 26 percent of Kenyans feel that Raila Odinga is the politician who has demonstrated outstanding patriotism in the past year followed by President Mwai Kibaki at 10 percent.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta came in third with eight percent while Gichugu MP Martha Karua and Eldoret North MP William Ruto were tied in fourth with seven percent.
Reasons given by the respondents for ranking the leaders include the perception that they have a good development record; they fight for rights of Kenyans, they are democratic leaders, they preach peace and that they are active in the fight against corruption.
The poll showed that Kenyans want the two coalition principals to work together in unity for the sake of Kenyans; to honour their promises of promote peace and reconciliation, to resettle IDP’s, to set the date for the next general election to ensure Kenyans are adequately prepared for the exercise and to offer solutions to the high cost of living.
Seventy-seven percent of the respondents indicated that patriotism for Kenya will be an important attribute in determining their choice of political leaders during the forthcoming general elections.