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February 23, 2019

70% Kenyans in fear of post-election violence in 2017 - survey

Demonstrators run for safety during a Cord demonstration for the forceful removal of IEBC commissioners, May 2016. /FILE
Demonstrators run for safety during a Cord demonstration for the forceful removal of IEBC commissioners, May 2016. /FILE

Most Kenyans are afraid that violence will be experienced in the 2017 general election, a survey has found.

The survey on citizens views on security and safety in Kenya found 70 per cent were "afraid", 44 per cent "very afraid" and three out of ten citizens (28 per cent) not worried about the possibility.

"Political competition is expected to be intense and much is at stake for the incumbents and their challengers," Twaweza East Africa said upon the release of the findings on Tuesday.

The survey showed the feat was founded on experiences members of the public have had.

Twaweza reported that four out of ten citizens (38 per cent) have felt insecure in the last three months.

The organisation noted that this was despite an improvement in security operations in many parts of the country.

Patrols were increased in Mombasa and Mandera counties following attacks by al Shabaab militants, who have carried on with their sporadic attacks.

In counties including Nairobi, Kisumu and Siaya, the charged atmosphere witnessed during Cord's calls for an overhaul at the IEBC raised concerns about chances of violence during the elections period.

Co-principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula held demonstrations for weeks for the forceful removal of commissioners.

They were teargassed by police officers during the protests that left several dead, some beaten by riot police officers and property damaged.

Read: 19 counties likely to experience violence in August 2017 polls - IEBC

But 44 per cent of those interviewed said the state of security in their ares of residence has remained the same, while 18 per cent said it had deteriorated.

"The good news is that the majority of citizens reported they have not personally experienced violence or insecurity (80 per cent)," said the report.

The public has asked the government to ensure security is heightened ahead of the polls.

Several local and international leaders have also called for peace during the polls, for the sake of economic stability.

Read: US has no favourites in 2017 general election, says John Kerry

Also read: Judiciary ready to handle poll petitions, Maraga says at meeting with Cord leaders

The findings of the survey were based on data from Sauti za Wananchi - Africa’s first nationally representative high‐frequency mobile phone survey.

The data was collected from 1,801 respondents across Kenya between August 15 and September 6.

Also read: Set up independent High Court arm to deal with post-poll violence, LSK tells state

More on this: Peace ambassadors to avert post-poll violence



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