Uhuru most popular in survey by UoN dons

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A poll conducted by two University of Nairobi dons shows President Uhuru Kenyatta would comfortably win the Presidential election if it were held today.

The poll, sponsored by Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli and executed by the UoN professors, shows Uhuru enjoys a 55.1 per cent following against his closest rival, Cord leader Raila Odinga, who has 35.1 per cent.

On Saturday, at Deputy President William Ruto’s Sugoi home, Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka and Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa dismissed the naming of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi as the Luhya community’s spokesman after the survey was released.

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The percentage crowns President Uhuru with the 50 per cent-plus one threshold required to avoid a rerun in his reelection bid.

Deputy President Ruto and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who was Raila’s running mate in 2013, came in third in the poll, with each scoring 2.3 per cent.

“This study set out to analyse Kenya’s political leadership status and outlook focussing on political popularity in Kenya as a whole and Western Kenya in particular,” Atwoli told the Star on Sunday.

On December 21, Ipsos released a poll showing that Uhuru would get 50 per cent of the vote while only 22 per cent of respondents said they would vote for Raila.

The researchers said almost all respondents had gone through some formal education, with only 0.4 percent without any formal education.

According to the survey, 32.6 per cent of the respondents had completed secondary and a further 33 per cent either undertook training after form four or had completed some training after completing form four.

“This shows that the respondents were enlightened,” said the poll, dubbed ‘An Analytical Study of Kenya’s Political Leadership Status and Outlook’.

It was signed by Dr Fred Jonyo of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and Prof George Owidhi from the School of Economics.

However, the majority of those interviewed (53.1 per cent) said they do not support political realignments while 46.9 per cent call for realignments, or parties forming new alliances, ahead of the next polls.

“Those that support realignment do so for the reasons that realignments help strengthen political parties in readiness for elections, unite Kenyans because people from various ethnic groups work together, it’s a normal thing with politicians and it gives all leaders an opportunity to be with whichever party they see fit,” the poll states.

In an afterword, the poll warns the electorate against realignments, arguing they are tribal and do not unite Kenyans.

It adds those against believe realignments confuse the electorate and serve self-interests, erode the trust that the electorate has in leaders and create the appetite to waste public resources.

The UoN poll, which was primarily targetted at political popularity in Western Kenya, revealed that Mudavadi was the most preferred candidate among 39 percent of respondents, followed by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, who tied at 30 percent each for spokesperson of Western Kenya.

Others mentioned only totalled one percent. They include Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu at 1.1 percent against Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, who scored 0.4 percent in the poll.

“Musalia becomes automatically a Presidential candidate and the spokesperson of the Luhya community,” said Atwoli.

Speaking at Bukhungu Stadium, Musalia promised to bring together all communities and unite the country.

“Now that you have given me a new role I will work hard to bring on board Raila and other leaders who have Kenya at heart.”

The study was carried out in 17 major towns in Kenya with a total sample of 530 respondents in the period between July 19 and October 5, 2016.

“The research was conducted professionally, stored in a KCB bank and released at Bukhungu Stadium during the Mulembe Declaration,” said Atwoli.

The researchers said the status of Kenya’s political leadership and its outlook are shaped by various social and economic benefits that the people have either drawn from the political leaders or would wish to gain from them when they take up leadership positions.

Moreover, the majority of Kenyans would wish to elect their political leaders based on their commitment to investing in Infrastructure, Security and Employment Creation.

Atwoli said the study was meant to establish the most popular politician nationally, the most popular political leader in Western Kenya and draw policy recommendations from the study findings.

The study was carried out among 58 per cent youths and 42 per cent adults. The researchers said a larger percentage was assigned to the youth because they form the larger size of Kenya’s population as compared to the adults.

A total of 25.7 per cent of the youths were up to 25 years of age, while 32.3 per cent were between ages 26 and 35.

The majority (25.7 per cent) of the adults were young adults and only 3.6 per cent were mature adults.

And even though the youths interviewed formed 58 percent of the total sample, the majority of those interviewed (both youths and adults) were married (55 percent), another 32 percent were single, 8 percent widowed and 5 percent separated or divorced.

The study sample was composed of 56 percent male and 44 percent female and was mainly carried out at major market centres and not in homesteads.

-the-star.co.ke

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