7 out of 10 Kenyans feel country headed in wrong direction: Infrotak


Johvine Wanyingo, Ifotrak senior field operations manager during the presentation of the findings of the latest poll by Infotrak on July 24. According to Infotrak, 93pc of Kenyans believe the high cost of living is a major concern.

Photo credit: Kennedy Amungo | Nation Media Group

Three quarters of Kenyans believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction,  a new poll shows.

Only 15 per cent of Kenyans expressed optimism that the country is heading in the right direction.

 Nyanza, Western and Coast regions have the highest levels of strong feeling that the country is on the wrong track, with 82 per cent, 79 per cent and 76 per cent of their populations, respectively, holding this belief. On the other hand, only 22 per cent in Central, 21 per cent in North Eastern and 19 per cent in Rift Valley regions expressed this belief.

This is according to an Infotrak survey that was conducted between July 3 and 8 involving 2,400 respondents from across the country using computer-assisted telephone interviews.

“Among the main reasons cited for the negative sentiment about the direction of the country is the high cost of living, which a substantial 93 per cent of respondents cited as a major concern. In addition, 23 per cent of respondents attributed the problems to unemployment and 19 per cent to poor governance,” said Johvine Wanyingo, Infotrak’s senior field operations manager.

Some 19 per cent of respondents said the cost of living was manageable.

According to the survey results, 34 per cent of respondents believe that the Executive is functioning effectively, while 29 per cent of respondents expressed satisfaction with the peaceful situation in the country.

The survey also reveals high public dissatisfaction with the country’s leadership, with a staggering 75 per cent of Kenyans blaming the President for Kenya’s poor performance. However, some Kenyans (3 per cent) believe that fellow citizens are to blame. In addition, 1 per cent point the finger at religious leaders.

“Since March 2023, there has been a significant increase of 13 per cent in the urgency to address the cost of living. In March, the cost of living was 72 per cent, but by July it had risen to 85 per cent. Unemployment has also risen from 30 per cent in March to 47 per cent in July. Over the same period, corruption has also increased from 11 per cent in March to 16 per cent in July,” said Mr Wanyingo.

The survey also shows that majority of Kenyans, 87 per cent, believe that the cost of living in the country is currently high. A smaller proportion, 9 per cent, perceive it to be at an average level and only 4 per cent believe it is low.

“When asked about the main reasons for the high cost of living, respondents pointed to several factors. The most common cause, cited by 59 per cent of respondents, is the increase in fuel prices. In addition, 49 per cent attribute the high cost of living to high taxation, while 28 per cent believe inflation plays a significant role. Another contributing factor, cited by 19 per cent of respondents, is the poor decisions and policies of the current regime. Finally, 10 per cent of respondents cited high import costs as a factor affecting the cost of living,” said Mr Wanyingo.

According to the survey, 87 per cent of respondents are aware of the 2023 Finance Act. However, a majority of 59 percent doubt its positive impact on the Kenyan economy. In addition,  73 per cent of respondents do not support the Act.

“Among those who do not support the 2022 Finance Act, a significant majority of 61 per cent prefer to express their dissatisfaction through civil disobedience. In addition, 49 per cent of this group favour challenging the Act in court, while 15 per cent opt for tax boycotts and 32 per cent choose peaceful demonstrations as an alternative means of opposing the Act,” said Mr Wanyingo.