, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 3 – An opinion poll released on Friday shows that 73 percent of Kenyans are dissatisfied with the confirmation of charges against four individuals by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
The Smart Octopus Research Company conducted the study between January 27 and 29 against the backdrop of the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II’s decision to confirm the charges against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, immediate former Civil Service boss Francis Muthaura and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.
Managing Director Samuel Thiari said most of those dissatisfied with the outcome said they felt like the international crimes court process was political.
“Seventy-three percent of those interviewed said that the decision was not fair. Most of the respondents said that they had followed keenly the proceedings at the ICC during the confirmation of charges hearing and they were of the opinion that the prosecutor’s case did not provide sufficient grounds for the charges to be confirmed,” Thiari said.
Other reasons cited by the respondents included the pronouncement by the Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo that ICC would make Kenya an example to the world; charged debate from one side of political divide for those whose charges were confirmed to vacate public offices, and the symmetrical balance of those charged from the original 3-3 to 2-2 as indicators of political dimensions in the ICC case.
The poll targeted a sample size of 2,000 respondents in 44 counties except for Moyale, Lamu and Wajir. Thiari said the interviews were conducted through telephone calls.
“There were limited face to face semi-structured interviews for purposes of triangulation. The sample was got through systematic random sampling of our data base using probability proportional to size.”
The survey was fully commissioned by Smart Octopus Ltd.
Thiari said 24 percent of those in favour of ICC process saw it as the only way to ensure justice for the victims or prevent a repeat of the violence.
Three percent of those polled were undecided or not sure about the fairness.
More than 1,300 people were killed and about 500,000 displaced by the violence that followed a disputed presidential election in December 2007.
Meanwhile, the poll shows that Prime Minister Raila Odinga still remains the most popular presidential candidate ahead of competitors including Kenyatta, Ruto and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
According to the poll, Odinga was ahead with 25.2 percent registering a marginal decline from the 26 percent approval scored in an August 2011 opinion by the pollster. Kenyatta gained marginally rising from 23 percent in August to 23.4 percent.
Ruto and Musyoka come in third and fourth respectively with the Eldoret North MP gaining from 16 percent to 18.7 percent while Musyoka dropped 19 percent to 14 percent.
“What could be deduced from the above ratings is that ICC decision has had effects on the rating of the candidates. The public sympathy for Hon Uhuru and Hon Ruto could be interpreted as having positive effect on their ratings,” he explained.
Thiari attributed Musyoka’s loss of five percentage points to: “Internal realignments within the PNU Alliance or G7 Alliance constituency.”
On the uncertain date of the next general elections, a 78 percent favoured December 2012 election compared to 22 percent who prefer a March 2013 date.
The proponents of the December date cited the school calendar and tradition of holding the elections in the festive month as factors behind for their preference.
Majority of those who prefer March 2013 cited the disruption of the festive season.