NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – A new survey by IPSOS indicates that 57 percent of Kenyans approve of the performance by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the past five years.
According to the survey which saw more than 2,000 people interviewed, Jubilee supporters approve of his performance at 84pc against those of the opposition at 25pc.
While he is rated highly in all the perceived Jubilee strongholds, he has performed above 50 pc in all regions except for Nyanza, where only 30pc of Kenyans think he has done well.
IPSOS Lead Researcher Tom Wolf says of those who approve of his performance, 41pc believe he has done well in infrastructure, 13pc in education and 11pc on improving the economy.
“If you look in Coast, two-thirds (of area residents) give him approval. That is supposed to be an Opposition zone while in Western slightly above a half. When you see Jubilee leaders go vote hunting in areas perceived to be Opposition strongholds, they may have an argument. You can see there is some potential,” he stated during the release of the survey on Monday.
Other factors those who approve of the president’s performance anchor on according to the survey include health care (5pc), devolution (4pc) and implementation of the Constitution (4pc).
Those who disapprove of the president’s 5 years performances cited ignoring or abetting corruption at 46pc, deteriorated economy at 19pc and strikes at 8pc as their main reasons.
At the local level, there is considerable variation in terms of what Kenyans consider to be the “most serious problem.”
While overall, hunger/drought is the most mentioned, its highest levels of mentions are in Eastern and Nyanza, as indicated in the survey.
The most mentions of particular problems in other regions also vary considerably: the high cost of living (North Eastern), unemployment (Coast), water shortage (Eastern), poverty/the rich-poor gap (Western), and infrastructure deficiencies (Central), the latter perhaps a reflection of the relative affluence of this part of the country (so that basic needs receive fewer mentions).
“While views on many of the questions included here reveal major contrasts between supporters of the main two political groupings, it is hardly evident in terms of the identification of the main problems facing the country as a whole, with hardly any difference with regard to the top four mentions: corruption, high cost of living, unemployment, and hunger/drought,” reads the survey.
A plurality of Jubilee supporters reports that their household economic conditions have worsened over the last three months (44pc), though a slim majority of them (51pc) feel that the country as a whole is moving in the right direction as opposed to just one-fifth of Opposition supporters at 9pc.
Nearly three-quarters (72pc) of the Jubilee supporters have the highest level of confidence in President Kenyatta, with even more (84pc) approving his performance over the last three months.
“It is clear that either many of supporters realize the President alone cannot determine the country’s direction, and/or he has other qualities that attract support besides his/his government’s capacity to improve the lives of his supporters in a tangible way,” Wolf pointed out.
While the high cost of living and corruption received the most mentions among the people who interviewed as “the most serious problem” facing the country as a whole, hunger/drought is by far the most serious one recognized at the local level.
“Over the last three months, household economic conditions have worsened for more than three times as many Kenyans as for those for whom they have improved,” the survey indicated.
“For both the last three months and the last five years, there has been very little change in the proportions of households for which economic conditions have changed, whether for the better or the worse.
For both the last three months and the last five years there is a clear, if modest, correlation with total (estimated) household income: wealthier households have done better, and poorer households have fared worse.
More than two-thirds of all Kenyans report that all/many of the people in their localities are living in poverty, with more employment seen by far as the most effective way to combat it.”
According to the survey, supporters of Jubilee and the Opposition are in agreement about the most important achievements of the Jubilee government: in transport infrastructure, education, medical services, and electricity supply.