, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 2 – Only 17 percent of Kenyans are registered members of a political party, according to a new report released on Tuesday.
The study commissioned by the Society for International Development further showed that over 70 percent of Kenyans do not know how county governments work.
“45.8 percent of Kenyans could not describe what it was. Others mainly associated it with sharing of power (13.3 percent) and decentralisation of government departments (10.8 percent), distribution of resources (11.4 percent) and the act of governance through counties (6.4 percent),” the report showed.
According to Strategic Research Chief Executive Officer Ceasar Handa a lot remains to be done to ensure Kenyans participate actively in politics.
“We see political parties running around, now they are preparing for nominations. A lot of us do not get involved in political party nominations,” he said explaining that Kenyans do not have time to participate since the nominations are usually during working days.
The report also indicated that most Kenyans believe reconciliation following the post election violence has not been fully realised. However 60.8 percent feel despite total reconciliation the country will have peaceful elections next year.
Whereas only 13 percent said they can forgive their attackers only after compensation and trials are completed, about six percent said they will never forgive those who attacked them.
According to the report, Kenyans are not happy with the high costs of living, high levels of insecurity and corruption which they complained is on the increase.
It further indicated that domestic violence especially against women was depriving Kenyans of their right to respect for human dignity.
Kenyans are still deeply inclined to their tribes and will vote based on ethnicity according to the research conducted between April 20 and May 4 this year.
Former National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chairman Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia who attended the launch of the report said Kenya is heavily tasked with managing divisions among ethnic lines.
“Tribalism is like a lifestyle disease, Kenyans have to manage it the way they manage lifestyle diseases,” he warned.
Most of the 5,035 respondents aged above 17 years also said they trust that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will conduct elections responsibly.
The study was done in 46 counties except in West Pokot which was heavily affected by insecurity.