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New survey shows Kenyans divided on direction country is headed

Infotrak boss Angela Ambitho/ FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 26 – A new survey co-sponsored by the Africa Center for Open Governance (AfriCOG) and Infotrak Research and Consulting shows 43 per cent of Kenyans feel the nation is headed the right direction.

Forty per cent of 1,538 respondents spread across 26 counties expressed a contrary opinion according to the survey conducted between August 20 and 23 and whose margin of error was reported at three per cent with a 95 per cent degree of confidence.

Fifteen per cent of respondents told the pollster the nation was neither headed the right or wrong direction.

According to the opinion poll released on Sunday, the North Eastern region accounted for the highest number of respondents who felt the nation was heading the right way at 73 per cent, followed by Central and Rift Valley regions at 47 per cent each.

The percentage of those who felt the nation was headed the right direction was reported at 44, 41, 40, 36, and 33 in Nairobi, Eastern, Coast, Nyanza, and Western regions respectively.

Western and Nyanza regions had the highest number of respondents who were not confident in the direction the country was going at 52 and 48 per cent respectively.

In Coast, Eastern, Nairobi, Rift Valley and Central region, 38, 40, 38, 39, 35, and 16 per cent of respondents registered dissatisfaction in the direction the country was heading.

The study noted a general decline over time in respondents’ confidence in the country’s direction with polls conducted by Infotrak in July 2017, and May 2018 showing 47 and 52 per cent respectively of sampled populations had confidence in the path the nation had taken.

According to the survey, respondents identified unemployment (23 per cent), corruption (21 per cent), and high cost of living (21 per cent) as the most pressing issues.

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The new study however differs significantly with another released by Ipsos on Wednesday which showed 59 per cent of Kenyans felt the nation was headed in the wrong direction.

The Ipsos survey that saw 2,016 respondents interviewed in 45 counties between July 25 and August 2 had shown that only 28 per cent of those who took part felt the nation was headed the right way.

The Ipsos poll with a margin of error of 2.16 per cent and 95 per cent level of confidence had sparked anger among a section of politicians who faulted its corruption perception index as misleading and ill-conceived.

The study which Iposos said it had independently funded placed Deputy President William Ruto at the top of the corruption perception index at 33 per cent followed by Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru (31 per cent).

Retired President Daniel arap Moi was listed third at 17 per cent followed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the fourth place at 11 per cent.

Ruto and Waiguru dismissed the findings of the Iposos survey terming them fictitious.

“At a time when people are so desperate that they want to amend the constitution to bar DP from running for the presidency, it should not shock anyone that a survey like this would be concocted,” Ruto’s Press Secretary David Mugonyi said while reacting to the study on Wednesday.

“We must be careful not to mislead Kenyans with faulty or fraudulent statistics, even for mundane purposes. We must resist a culture of cooked surveys, manipulated data and stage-managed findings,” he warned.

Ruto consequently pointed out that the survey was meant to distract him from focusing on development.

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He vowed to remain focused on the Big Four development agenda notwithstanding what he has termed as “sponsored headlines, paid opinions, and fake news” being propagated by his detractors.

“I want to give them free advice – let them prepare themselves very well. Once they’re done with publishing fake polls and fake news, they can come so that we compete on issues that concern the citizenry and I will tutor them,” he told a public gathering on Thursday.


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