72% of Kenyans want IEBC disbanded – pollster


CORD protest
CORD leader Raila Odinga leads protesters to Anniversary Towers on June 6, 2016. [Photo/Benjamin Wafula]

Majority of Kenyans want the current Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disbanded and a new commission formed to end the existing impasse between Jubilee and CORD.

According to an IPSOS survey released on Tuesday, 72 per cent of Kenyans said that they would only have confidence in the commission if the current commissioners are replaced.

The opposition coalition, CORD, has insisted that it would not participate in the 2017 elections with the current IEBC commissioners in office saying there are plans to rig the elections in favour of the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta.

The commission chair Ahmed Issack Hassan has, however, refuted the claims saying they are ready to resign should CORD prove its allegations.

While the opposition coalition has insisted on the formation of a five-member legislative team to engage in dialogue outside Parliament, Jubilee has stated that it would not heed the calls for dialogue urging CORD to table its grievances to Parliament.

Allegations of corruption at the IEBC also featured in the polls with 12 per cent of respondents calling for the prosecution of commissioners who served in the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and the current IEBC over allegations of corruption in the electoral agency.

Some of the commissioners have been accused of under dealings in the procurement of BVR kits in the run-up to the 2013 elections and the chickengate scandal which involves receiving bribes from UK firms in the awarding of tender for the supply of printing papers and certificates.

The survey also shows that respondents in Jubilee strongholds –  Central and Rift Valley – had faith in IEBC with approval ratings of 58% and 56% respectively.

Eastern, Nairobi and North Eastern followed with 39%, 38% and 36%  with only 19% of respondents in Western region expressing confidence in the commission, placing it last behind Nyanza at 28% and Coast at 29%.

The IPSOS report further indicates that a majority of Kenyans, 75%, are aware of CORD’s anti-IEBC protests with Nairobi leading with 87% awareness rating. This, according to the pollster, can be attributed to the extensive media coverage accorded to the protests  and cases of violence associated with them.

Irrespective of the high level awareness, however, only 30 per cent of Kenyans support the demonstrations, majority of whom come from CORD stronghold regions of Coast (49%), Nyanza (44%), Western (35%) and Eastern (32%). The protests received least support in Central (14%), Rift Valley (24%), Nairobi (26%) and North Eastern (27%).

The survey, conducted between June 4th and 7th, targeted 2,184 respondents with the margin error of +/-2.2 and a 95% confidence level.

A confrontation is brewing between CORD and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery after the latter outlawed the protests terming them as a security threat.

The opposition has, however, vowed to ignore the orders and carry on with the protests adding that from next week, they will extend the frequency to two per week.

@benjaminwafula

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