Most Kenyans support Mau evictions

December 22, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22 – An opinion poll conducted by Strategic PR Company has showed that 65 percent of Kenyans feel that the wrangles and divisions within government will hinder Kenya’s reform agenda.

The survey which focused on environmental conservation also showed that 83 percent of Kenyans supported the Mau evictions.

Strategic PR Chief Executive Officer Caesar Handa said that 71 percent were not in favour of politicians who were faulting the government over the evictions with a majority saying that they were only seeking political mileage rather than being concerned with the evictees’ welfare.

“The question of the Mau is being seen as posing a challenge to the reform agenda; that it basically drowns the debate on the constitutional reforms, that it elicits unnecessary emotions clouding the question of reforms that people should be focusing on,” he said. 

He added that Kenyans who supported the Mau evictions said that it would reduce poverty and avert natural disasters.

“Another reason given for the support of the Mau evictions was that forests were a natural habitat which must be conserved. It is also important to note that 14 percent of the respondents did not support the evictions. A majority of these people asked the government to allow people to stay in the forest and practice the shamba system,” he said.

Mr Handa also stated that Coast province, Nyanza province and North Eastern Province had the greatest support for the government’s eviction efforts.

“The survey also showed that support for the government’s eviction plans cuts across provinces with Rift Valley and Eastern provinces having the lowest indications of government support for the evictions,” he explained.

He added that 46 percent of the respondents said that claims by a section of MPs that the Mau evictions were inhumane were not genuine while 27 percent thought that there could be some truth in the claims.

“A majority of the 27 percent who saw some truth in the claims however said that the politicians had blown the Mau issue out of proportion while 23 percent said that the claims were true and should be acted upon,” he said.

Mr Handa also noted that the polls indicated that the office of the Premier had the highest score when it came to conserving the environment as compared to the office of the President.

“We looked at the institution of the President and that of the Prime Minister and we found that it scored averagely with a mean score of 6.13 in the area of environmental conservation,” he said.

He said that a majority of Kenyans supported use of CDF (Constituency Development Funds) to conserve the environment with 62 percent of the respondents approving the idea.

“34 percent said they did not support use of CDF money for environmental conservation. 21 percent of those who affirmed use of CDF money to conserve the environment said that reforestation was a very important aspect of development that should be supported and that if CDF was used in this regard then more funds would be allocated for the environment,” he said.

He added that among the key issues that were of concern to Kenyans were high price of commodities, followed by the question of corruption, issue of constitution and the issues of poverty and lack of employment.

The poll also showed that parliament performed dismally in the fight against corruption scoring a measly 3.99 mean followed by the police and the Judiciary.

“The Judiciary scores below average in fighting corruption with a 3.65 mean score. The Police score the worst in this respect with a 2.89 mean score in fighting corruption and 3.78 in fighting crime,” he stated.

The survey was conducted between December 12 and 16 this year. Questionnaires were administered face to face through random sampling of 3000 respondents across the country.


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