, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – Kenya was ranked as the fifth country in Africa where citizens trust its judicial system, according to a new survey conducted by international pollster Gallup World.
The poll showed that 61 percent of Kenyans have confidence with the judiciary especially after the Supreme Court upheld last year’s election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“At 61pc, Kenya also sits high on the list after the Kenyan Supreme Court upheld the election of Uhuru Kenyatta to the presidency last year,” the research indicated.
The data comes a few days after President Uhuru Kenyatta was ranked the 3rd best performing president in Sub Saharan Africa by the same research company.
Malawi and Senegal top the list of countries that trust their judiciaries at 69 and 68 percent respectively in the research commissioned last year.
Malawi’s high score is linked to the High Court ruling that denied a sitting president a petition seeking for nullification of presidential elections.
“The independence of Malawi’s judiciary was on full display this past May after the Malawi High Court rejected sitting President Joyce Banda’s call to annul presidential elections, paving the way for the democratic handover of power to opposition candidate Peter Mutharika,” the research explained.
Burkina Faso, Niger and Botswana follow closely with over 60 percent of people expressing confidence with their judiciaries.
In total, the research shows that less than half of African countries have trust in their judicial systems.
Chad and Congo have the worst judicial systems, with 23 and 22 per cent approvals from their citizens.
Gallup World encapsulates that for Africa to improve its democratic and economic muscle, ensuring absolute independence and restoring confidence in the judicial systems is a pre-requisite.
According to the international pollster, having a trusted judiciary will also be a strong foundation that will address vices that ail Africa’s development, economy and governance.
“Strong judiciary systems can help African countries further realize that potential and play a key role in the continent’s democratic consolidation and economic growth. Independent judiciaries in Africa can help to provide checks and balances against autocratic rulers, reel in out-of-control corruption, and prevent conflict through effective civil justice,” Gallup World explained.
The pollster further recommended that a strong judicial system is important in attracting foreign investments “with African nations increasingly keen to attract the attention of American businesses, countries with a proven rule of law and consistently enforced regulations maintain a strong advantage in drawing foreign investment.”
It further cited this week’s US-Africa Leaders Summit as a potential landmark platform that will enhance relationship between Africa and US in working together to promote democracy and expand economic development.