18 June 2019

Kenya: Poll Shows 80%of Kenyans Back Kenyatta-Odinga Handshake

Nairobi — A new survey by IPSOS shows that the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga continues to enjoy massive support among Kenyans at 80 per cent.

According to the telephonic study released on Tuesday afternoon, those who support the pact say it is because of the unity and peace it has achieved in the country since March last year.

A few of those opposed to the handshake, claim it has brought political confusion at 36 per cent while others at 24 per cent say it weakened the Opposition.

According to the poll conducted between April 15 and 18, 36 per cent of those interviewed say they have seen no benefit as a result of the pact.

The two leaders shelved their differences after a prolonged electioneering period that raised political temperatures in the country, with potential effects on the economy and foreign investments.

The study has been released at a time President Uhuru Kenyatta is facing open defiance from the Mount Kenya region - his political stronghold during elections.

A section of politicians from the region have accused his government of neglecting the area, which overwhelmingly voted for him, but he has since dismissed the claims.

His Sunday remarks, however, were the most hard-hitting, when he said, "the thugs we have chosen and are politicking should not think I am their small boy" he said in Kikuyu.

He warned against continued politicking at the expense of development, while warning of unspecified consequences.

"No amount of political noise, the President vowed, will stop him "from taking the path I have made and where I want to take my people," he asserted.

To some political pundits, the sentiments were directed to the Tanga Tanga movement, an amorphous group of politicians affiliated to Deputy President William Ruto while others believe it was a blank condemnation to all leaders engaging in politics within the Mount Kenya region.

Already, surveys place DP Ruto as the most favourite presidential candidate comes 2022.

A new survey released over the weekend indicated that the Deputy President is likely to clinch the top-most seat on in the country at 30.81 per cent followed by Odinga at 27.50 per cent.

The survey by ISS Africa placed Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko third at 12.8 per cent, with Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka coming at a distant fourth and fifth with 9.3 and 8.5 per cent respectively.

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