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TIFA: Kenyans concerned over political climate in 2023

By Mercy Simiyu December 29th, 2023 2 min read

Kenyans are wary over what they say is the frosty political climate witnessed in 2023, which was the first full year President William Ruto spent in office.

The revealing insights were part of a survey conducted by research firm TIFA between November 25 and December 9, 2023, on  Kenya’s political climate.

Out of the 1,587 respondents from various regions including Central Rift, Coast, Lower Eastern, Mt Kenya, Nairobi, Northern, Nyanza, and South Rift, 47% expressed that 2023 presented a more challenging political environment than 2022.

While the majority of the interviews gave this year a negative score, 33% said the year was better compared to 17% who said the year was the same as the previous one. 3% were not sure.

“In the assessment of the political climate, less than half of the Kenyan population believes that 2023 witnessed a deterioration compared to 2022, while a notable one-third perceives an improvement.

The year 2023 in Kenya was marked by significant political upheavals.

Earlier in the year, the nation grappled with a series of mass demonstrations spearheaded by the opposition, leading to escalated tensions and unrest across the country.

However, seeking a resolution, the opposition opted to suspend these widespread protests in April, pivoting towards bipartisan dialogues.

Yet, as the year progressed, underlying tensions persisted, with the opposition recently issuing veiled warnings to the government. Their discontent primarily stemmed from the government’s perceived inadequacies in addressing the mounting cost of living.

“The opposition subsequently suspended nationwide protests in April to engage in bipartisan talks. Recently, the opposition has issued veiled threats of unspecified consequences against the government, citing dissatisfaction with its failure to address the rising cost of living,” TIFA noted.

Besides, politicians were arrested during the demonstrations and others remanded, only for the charges to be dropped when a truce was arrived at between President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Similarly, there have been cases of arrests and mysterious disappearances of bloggers including Pauline Njoroge and Daniel Muthiani alias Snipper.

Separately, President Ruto appeared to consistently warn Kenyans who would challenge some of his decisions in court with unspecified consequences. The challenges according to Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah, amounted to death threats.

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