By: VINCENT ACHUKA
Kenyans are fast losing faith in political leaders and parties, according to a new survey to be released Sunday.
The poll by Infotrak found that 22.1 per cent of Kenyans do not identify with any political coalition, while 21.7 per cent would not vote for Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga or any other party leader if elections were held today.
The latter is instructive because the number of Kenyans not supporting any of the top political leaders has risen twofold from 8.7 per cent in November last year.
This points to two scenarios: One, Kenyans have had enough of the political and economic scandals of the ruling elite and are now voting with their feet.
Two, there is room for a third force to tap into the disillusionment with Jubilee and Cord coalitions that command 37.5 per cent and 32.8 per cent support nationally.
However, this alternative will have to come from outside the current political setup because the other party leaders – William Ruto, Moses Wetang’ula, Martha Karua, Musalia Mudavadi and Peter Kenneth — polled less than 12 per cent together.
The public disillusionment with politics is reflected in the personal ratings of the party leaders, with President Kenyatta being the hardest hit.
The survey, which was conducted between November 6 and November 9 in 25 counties, shows that the President’s popularity fell by 26 per cent in the last one year from 59.8 per cent to 33.7 per cent.
However, Uhuru’s loss has not translated into a massive gain for Raila, whose support rose from 19.3 per cent to 28.7 per cent over the same period.
While the number of undecided voters rose fastest of all the indicators for popularity among party leaders, most of them have adopted a wait-and-see approach to the presidential contest.
This suggests the opposition does not provide an alternative to President Kenyatta’s leadership.
President Kenyatta’s falling ratings have coincided with the roughest period of his reign given the political and economic scandals that have engulfed Jubilee over the last year.
When the first survey was conducted in 2014, Jubilee was riding high.
The economy was booming and the President’s credentials had not been tainted by claims of poor leadership.
Since then Jubilee has been stumbling from one scandal to another.
Allegations of mega corruption in government, bias in public appointments and simmering tensions in the coalition between URP and TNA have taken their toll on the coalition’s credibility to govern.
Among these fringe candidates, Deputy President William Ruto’s support fell from 2.9 per cent last year to 1.6 per cent.
Like the president, Ruto is paying the political cost of Jubilee’s scandals.
Kenneth’s ratings shot from 2 to 5.7 per cent, Kalonzo 1.5 to 2.5 per cent and Karua 0.6 to 2.20 per cent.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION