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Kenyans Don’t Know Much About Simmering Referendum, Survey Shows

Kenyatta and Odinga say law amendments will create a more inclusive government and fend off ethnic violence that regularly overshadows elections.

Fewer Kenyans, less than one third to be exact, would vote for constitutional changes that President Uhuru Kenyatta and erstwhile rival Raila Odinga are pushing for, a latest poll shows.

Both men say the new law will create a more inclusive government and fend off ethnic violence that regularly overshadows elections.

Of 1,550 respondents polled by Tifa Research, 29% said they would vote “yes” in a referendum later this year to pass the so-called Building Bridges Initiative proposals while 32% of Kenyans would vote ‘NO’ to shoot down the vote.

Of those who voted ‘YES’, 19 per cent said they will approve the referendum because of more money to counties while 15 per cent agreed with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister posts for more inclusivity.

At least five per cent will do so because of the benefits to youth, another five per cent because of the position of Official Leader of Opposition for runners-up in the polls while 40 per cent had no specific reason given.

“There is still considerable work that needs to be done by champions of both of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ campaigns to win over Kenyans to their side,” said Maggie Ireri, Tifa’s chief executive officer.

Some of the key proposed constitutional amendments include reintroducing the post of prime minister and two deputies, creating the position of an official opposition leader for the runner-up presidential candidate, and allocating more cash to the nation’s 47 counties.

There was generally low knowledge of the suggested changes with 84% of respondents not familiar with the BBI contents, Tifa said.

The survey interviewed respondents between Dec. 8 and Dec. 19 and has a margin of error of 2%.