More than half of Kenyans think Ruto government has achieved nothing: Tifa poll

President William Ruto

President William Ruto during a past event at State House Nairobi.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

More than half of Kenyans believe that President William Ruto's government has achieved nothing since the election in August last year, with a third of Kenya Kwanza supporters agreeing with this statement, according to a new opinion poll.

Some 56 per cent of Kenyans also believe that Kenya is heading in the wrong direction, with eight out of ten in this category citing tough economic times as the main reason for their belief.

In this category, 38 per cent of pro-government supporters believe the country is currently on the wrong track, compared to a massive 78 per cent of pro-opposition supporters. 

These are the findings of the latest Tifa survey, conducted between June 24 and 30 using computer-assisted telephone interviews with 1,530 respondents. 

A similar poll conducted by Tifa in March showed that 37 per cent of Kenyans believed the country was heading in the right direction, but that figure had dropped to 25 per cent by June.

"Irrespective of political affiliation, the vast majority of Kenyans who perceive the country's current direction as wrong are unanimous in their reasoning: the ever-increasing cost of living," reads part of the survey.

At least five in 10 Kenyans (52 per cent) believe the main failure of the Ruto government is its inability to control the rising cost of living, up from 37 per cent who felt this way in March.

A further seven per cent believe the main failure is the government's inability to deliver on promises made during the election campaign. 

Other reasons for believing that Kenya is not on the right track include the recent tax policies/housing levy introduced by the state, increased corruption (three per cent), bad leadership/dictatorship (one per cent), government appointments (one per cent), increased insecurity in the North Rift (one per cent) and increased public debt (one per cent).

In general, Kenyans gave the current government a paltry 30.8 per cent approval rating for fulfilling its campaign promises.

While the Hustler Fund project, launched by President Ruto shortly after he was sworn in last September, was seen by 29 per cent of Kenyans in a March survey as a major achievement of the current government, its popularity had plummeted to 10 per cent by June 2023. 

However, President Ruto's efforts to stabilise the cost of fertiliser are still seen as an achievement by six per cent of Kenyans, up from five per cent three months ago.

Other reasons given by Kenyans for believing the country is on the right track include the debt repayment policy (four per cent), hiring more teachers (three per cent), completing and commissioning infrastructure (three per cent) and providing jobs and financial support to the needy (two per cent). 

More than a third of Kenyans (34 per cent) rated Cabinet Secretary for Internal Affairs Prof Kithure Kindiki as the best performing senior government official in the Kenya Kwanza administration.

The same CS was rated as the best-performing by 26 per cent of Kenyans in March.

A distant second to the Interior CS is his Education counterpart, Ezekiel Machogu, with seven per cent, followed by Health Cabinet Secretary, Susan Nakhumicha, with six per cent.

Youth, Sports and Arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba came fourth with three per cent and Roads, Transport and Public Works CS Kipchumba Murkomen rounded off the top five with two per cent.