BBI: Mwananchi speaks

January 8, 2021 - Reading Time: 2 minutes - By Mutindi Muema

TIFA Research has conducted a survey on Sentiments in the nation regarding BBI. The TIFA survey was designed and the data collected several weeks before the writing/release of the “letter” authored by Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata on various aspects of the BBI Report and referendum process that appeared in the media several days ago.

From the Summary of their findings:

Familiarity with BBI

There is generally low knowledge of BBI as 84% are not familiar with its contents and proposals.

  • 53% know nothing about the BBI
  • 31% Know only a little
  • 15% know something or a great deal about it

This is an indication of the need for public sensitization in order for Kenyans to make an informed choice.

Regardless of the low familiarity, most Kenyans feel that the Referendum should be held before the next general elections.

Preference for a voting format that allows Kenyans to vote on each specific proposal.

Preferred Timing for Referendum

  • 44% before 2022 general elections
  • 12% same day as the 2022 general elections
  • 31% after the 2022 general elections
  • 14% Not Sure/No Opinion

Preferred Voting Format in Referendum

  • 46% prefer to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on each specific proposal (i.e multiple-choice format)
  • 37% prefer to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for the entire set of proposals in one go
  • 16% Not Sure/No Opinion

Current Voting Intentions

  • Fewer than one-third of Kenyans (29%) reported that they would vote “yes” in a BBI referendum, with only slightly more (32%) declaring that they would vote “no.”
  • Notably, a combination of those who would not vote + the unsure represents 42% of Kenyans.
  • Specifically, those who say they know “a great deal” about BBI are far more inclined to vote ‘yes’ than those who say that they know “nothing” about (56% vs. 16%). This means that there is still considerable work that needs to be done by champions of both of yes or no campaigns to win over Kenyans to their side.

Voting Intention in BBI Referendum

  • 29% would vote YES
  • 32% would vote NO
  • 26% would NOT VOTE AT ALL

Top reasons for voting “YES”

  • 19% more money to counties
  • 15% PM/DPM positions lead to more inclusivity
  • 5% benefits to youth (positions and loans)
  • 5% position of official leader of opposition for runners-up
  • 40% no specific reason given

Top reasons for voting “NO”

  • 32% lack enough information on the BBI proposals
  • 20% believe it is the wrong priority amidst other challenges the country is facing
  • 9% increased political tension and divisions
  • 6% increased political power for Presidency a threat to democracy

Top reasons for voting “NOT VOTING AT ALL”

  • 68% lack information on the BBI proposals
  • 10% believe it will be rigged to ensure its passage

Support For Any Constitution Changes Before 2020 Elections

Kenyans are nearly evenly divided over whether there should be any changes to the 2010 Constitution before the next election.

Kenyans aligned to ODM/Raila Odinga and Uhuru’s Jubilee faction are in support of Constitutional change. Whilst those aligned to Ruto’s Jubilee are not in support. Per the Survey of Kenyans:

  • 42% in support
  • 46% not in support
  • 12% not sure/no response

The impact of the findings is yet to be seen and will be unfolding on media in the coming weeks.

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