Deputy President William Ruto and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru have linked a survey released on Wednesday by Ipsos Synovate portraying them as corrupt to the 2022 succession battle.
They said the survey had been sponsored by their political rivals interested in swaying public perceptions in the run-up to the 2022 elections.
"The opinion was paid for by the political detractors of the DP who think this will help their course to the presidency. The findings are part of the political scheme by the usual failures because how do you measure perception?" Mr Ruto's spokesman and Director of Communications at his office David Mugonyi said.
He added: "The so-called survey used data that is too politically correlated to be meaningful. At a time when people are so desperate that they want to amend the Constitution to bar the DP from running for the presidency, it should not shock anyone that a survey like this would be concocted."
LOSS OF PUBLIC FUNDS
Also questioning the credibility of the poll was Ms Waiguru, who said she has never been charged in a court of law for loss of public funds.
"I have had enough," she said. "Ipsos is being used by politicians to taint my name because they are worried about 2022. They have seen that Kirinyaga County is progressing and they are upset."
National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale, who was also in the Ipsos list, also weighed in, saying culpability for corruption should not be based on opinion, but evidence. "You cannot indict people with results from hired people," he said.
The survey showed that about a third of its respondents viewed Mr Ruto and Ms Waiguru as the most corrupt of "all the current and past but still alive political leaders". Further down the list were politicians from across the divide.
The major cases of corruption the respondents said they had heard about were led by the scandals at the National Youth Service, Kenya Power, sugar and maize importation scams, graft allegations at the National Cereals and Produce Board, the Ruaraka school land saga, Kenya Pipeline and construction of the Standard Gauge Railway. The Nation has exposed the scandals mentioned by the respondents over the past four months.
Ipsos research analyst Tom Wolf, who released the findings yesterday, defended the survey, saying the company sponsored and followed all requirements for the poll. "That is why we gave a trend of the response in some of the questions as the firm has been on these specific since 2011," he said. "Not all respondents understand the questions, but the findings are fairly accurate."
On the loss of Sh791 million at the National Youth Service in 2015 when she was Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Ms Waiguru threatened to make public the names of powerful individuals she claimed were the authors of an affidavit by hairdresser Josephine Kabura that incriminated her and other senior government officials with the loss.
She said the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), which investigated the matter, should release its findings.
"If they do not do that, I will personally name those people because I am tired of carrying them on my back. They should stop intimidating me by saying that Waiguru is the most corrupt," she said.
She added that her lawyer had written six letters to the EACC enquiring on the progress of the investigations without getting any feedback, and accused the EACC of protecting those involved in the theft of public funds from the youth agency that was rocked by another Sh9 billion scandal between 2016 and 2017. She now wants the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to conduct fresh investigations and clear her name.
In her explosive affidavit submitted before the EACC in February 2016, Ms Kabura accused Ms Waiguru of masterminding the alleged Sh791 million theft.
DIVERT PUBLIC ATTENTION
She claimed the former CS received a share of the money in question and played a key role in devising schemes to divert public attention and mislead investigative agencies from getting to the bottom of the scandal.
The DCI later found Ms Kabura lied under oath when she claimed that then Head of Banking Fraud Unit Joseph Mugwanja and Police Corporal Jeremiah Sautet had received Sh80 million on instructions from Ms Waiguru.
The Ipsos survey also found that Kenyans, while being supportive of President Uhuru Kenyatta's purge on corruption, will be more convinced of the resolve once big fish are convicted over the vice.
Dubbed First Quarter Social, Political, Economic and Cultural (SPEC) Survey, the report further showed that four in five Kenyans do not expect anyone to be held accountable for corruption.
Majority of Kenyans also think the vice has shot up during the Jubilee administration compared with the grand coalition of President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga.
"Never has there been a high perception of corruption by Kenyans despite there not being a single senior politician who has been convicted," Mr Wolf said when presenting the findings.
On Wednesday, President Kenyatta reiterated his commitment to slay the dragon of corruption. "We must work together and eliminate corruption so that our people can get the services that are due to them as citizens of this republic," the Head of State said during the 40th anniversary memorial service of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
The pollster interviewed 2016 adults living in urban and rural areas in English, Kiswahili and Somali languages between July 21 and August 2.