NEWS13 May 2011

Kenyan pollsters attack regulation plans

Government Middle East and Africa

KENYA— Pollsters have hit back at Kenyan MPs who want to legislate for how polls are conducted, calling the proposals “ill-advised and unnecessary”.

The Daily Nation reports comments from Synovate’s Pan Africa managing director George Waititu (pictured) and Strategic Research’s CEO Caesar Handa lamenting this “step backwards”.

“We are operating in a political market in which there is a lot of information in the public domain,” said Waititu. “One would hate to go back to the dark days when only politicians could give out information.”

The pollsters also made the point that the Kenyan opinion polling industry is already regulated by the country’s Marketing & Social Research Association – which bases its standard’s on Esomar’s guidelines.

MP Jamleck Kamau has filed a motion calling for the establishment of an Opinion Polls Control Board to determine how polls in the country should be conducted.

Those in favour of the motion worry that some polls are skewed and are being used to “push the agenda of certain politicians and their political parties”.