NEWS8 April 2011

Kenyan vice president blames pollsters for election violence

Government Middle East and Africa

KENYA— Kenyan vice president Kalonzo Musyoka has hit out at the country’s opinion pollsters, accusing them of contributing to the violence following the country’s general election in 2007, when more than 1,000 people were killed.

Musyoka (pictured) went on the offensive during a speech at the opening of a new car park, claiming that Kenya “needs to legislate” its polling industry to avoid it misleading the public.

He said: “We are giving the red card to these self-motivated pollsters who even contributed significantly to the post-election violence… They talk to a few people in a corner and come out to cheat us [claiming] that the whole country has spoken.”

Musyoka hit out at Synovate in particular for one of its recent polls which suggested that a majority of Kenyans supported trials of the ‘Ocampo Six’, who have been accused of masterminding the post-election violence.

Synovate Kenya’s managing director Maggie Ireri responded by saying: “Kenya is undergoing a very heated political period right now. We have been polling for ten years in Kenya and we stand behind our results. It is not unusual for people to criticise results that they may not like, no matter which company has released them.”

A video of Musyoka’s speech is below. Mentions of political polling begin at 4:41.


Kalonzo Musyoka