Kenyans want graft, infighting to end

February 26, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – The fight against corruption and the current political wrangles have replaced the attainment of a new Constitution as the most important issues Kenyans want addressed, according to a new survey.

The opinion poll by Strategic Research has revealed that 38 percent of the respondents placed emphasis on corruption; 20 percent wanted the wrangles tackled while nine percent felt priority should go to the Constitution,

Strategic Research Chief Executive Officer Caesar Handa said while releasing the poll that Kenyans sees corrupting and political disputes as threats to the Constitution review process.

“As much as the Constitution is important, it is still largely associated with elections and the political power play,” he said.

Of the respondents, 61 percent said they feared current disagreements within the coalition government would derail efforts towards the realisation of the new Constitution.

“They want the issues that affect their daily lives addressed first. They see if corruption and political instabilities are addressed then they will sit down and talk about the Constitution,” he added.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have openly disagreed on the suspension of Ministers William Ruto and Sam Ongeri over corruption allegations. The President rescinded the Premier’s decision to suspend the two brewing a political storm. The two met earlier in the week and announced they would work together.

However respondents supported the PM’s action and rated him as their most trusted government official to fight graft.

“Kenyans even in our previous surveys have indicated they want to see bold action being taken at the very top in terms of fighting graft,” said Mr Handa.

“Eighty two percent of Kenyans are of the opinion that Ministers accused of corruption should be fired and prosecuted. However 7.4 percent feel that they should simply be warned and let to continue discharging their duties. Six percent take the extreme position that those accused of corruption should face the death penalty,” said the report.

In a previous poll released last month, Kenyans prioritised the Constitution as the most important issue.

On political parties, ODM remains the most popular party with 51 percent of the respondents backing it.  The Party of National Unity has 20 percent support, while 17 percent do not support any party.

Respondents praised the government for infrastructure development especially on the construction of roads. However Kenyans expressed dissatisfaction with provision of health, security, education, creation of employment of opportunities and national cohesion.


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