A majority of Kenyans support the ongoing national dialogue between the Kenya Kwanza administration and the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition, a new survey by TIFA Research shows.
In the opinion poll conducted between June 24 and 30, sampling 1,530 respondents, 48 per cent of the respondents said they strongly support the bipartisan talks aimed at resolving the standoff between the government and the opposition. Another 16 per cent 'somewhat support' the initiative.
On the other hand, 19 per cent strongly oppose the talks, while 4 per cent somewhat support the dialogue. 13 per cent neither support nor oppose the talks.
"Only about half of Kenyans give strong support to the current National Dialogue talks, with nearly one-in-five strongly opposed to them. However, such support is slightly higher among Opposition supporters as compared with those of the Kenya Kwanza government (53% vs. 48%). How similar is the actual desired content of what might emerge from such talks across the political divide is another matter altogether," the report released on Thursday reads in part.
48 per cent of the respondents think the reconciliation talks will succeed while 21 per cent think otherwise. 20 per cent think it's possible that the talks will bear fruits but are not certain about the outcome.
"Only a slight plurality of Kenyans believe that a successful outcome of the current National Dialogue talks will enable the Kenya Kwanza government to fulfil its most important campaign promises (46%), with a majority either considering such an outcome less likely or are not sure about this. Moreover, the views about this across the political divide are minimal," TIFA added.
On the proposal to create the office of the Official Leader of the Opposition, 45 per cent of the respondents strongly support the bid as part of efforts to resolve the ongoing stalemate, 17 per cent somewhat support, 5 per cent somewhat oppose, 21 per cent strongly oppose, while 13 per cent of those polled neither oppose nor support it.
"Both among all Kenyans and across the political divide, there is more positive than negative opinion about the creation of the position of Leader of the Official Opposition, even if it far from unanimous. Notable here is the only marginal contrast of these views between Government and Opposition supporters, with almost the same proportion of both either strongly or somewhat supporting this proposal (67% among the former vs. 70% among the latter)," TIFA said.
48 per cent of those polled think entrenching the office into the constitution would make the opposition weaker, while 36 per cent of the respondents think otherwise. 16 per cent think the changes won't make any difference.
A majority of Kenyans also support the creation of the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary.
"Nationally, there is a near-even split regarding the creation of the position of Prime Cabinet Secretary (42% supporting it either strongly or somewhat, vs. 40% who oppose it at these two levels). However, apparently, because it is now occupied by a senior Kenya Kwanza figure, there are clear pluralities for its support among Pro-Government Kenyans and opposition to it from those who are Pro-Opposition (39% and 45%, respectively; there is also more opposition to it among those who are non-aligned)," TIFA added.
The national dialogue committee is co-chaired by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka from the Azimio side and Kimani Inchung'wah of Kenya Kwanza.