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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday 22 April 2015


As the national and county governments continue their meetings at the second Devolution Conference in Kisumu, some good news is coming out of a fresh survey by Ipsos. The findings in the survey reveal that public support for devolution has increased considerably over the last eight months, with an overwhelming majority now endorsing this form of governance as a way to channel funds to grassroots. More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of Kenyans interviewed between March 28 and April 7 backed devolution, a rise from two-thirds (69 per cent) last September, says the Ipsos survey. And then the bad news. Members of county assemblies (MCAs), governors, senators and county executives must work harder to gain the public's trust. The officials received very low ratings, indicating that the overwhelming support for devolution among the public is more about "future promise rather than observed performance". This is likely to be a sobering thought for those of them meeting at Tom Mboya Social Hall. One constant in the survey is that support for county governments is slightly higher among Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) supporters (80 per cent) compared to Jubilee's (77 per cent) but it is clear that even in Jubilee strongholds, support for devolved governance is on the up. Even fewer Opposition supporters (18 per cent) dislike devolution compared to Jubilee's (23 per cent). See also: Karua faults senators on impeachments "Such high support does not, however, deter Kenyans from critically appraising the performance of particular county-level officials," says the report. Hardly one-in-five Kenyans (21 per cent) have "complete confidence" in their governors, though nearly half of the rest (44 per cent) have "some confidence" in them", adds the survey. The remaining one-third (33 per cent) have "little confidence" or "no confidence at all" in governors. But the pollster cautions: "At the same time, having confidence (or not) in a particular election official may be at least partly a reflection of political orientation, so that even a well-performing governor may not have the 'confidence' of some of those who voted for another candidate, whether at the party nomination stage or in the election itself." The survey adds that 38 per cent have "some confidence" in MCAs while 22 per cent have no confidence at all. 20 per cent have a lot of confidence in MCAs, while 18 per cent have only a little confidence. It says 34 per cent of Kenyans have "some confidence" in senators while 25 per cent have no confidence in them at all. 19 per cent have a lot of confidence in them while 21 per cent only have a little confidence.

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