43% of Kenyans do not know what democracy is

Nearly half of Kenyans do not understand what democracy is, a Sauti za Wanainchi survey released yesterday has revealed. Almost another half believe the country is not democratic enough.

One per cent know what democracy is, but have no idea if it is being practiced. Four per cent feel there is completely no democracy.

The survey conducted by Twaweza East Africa indicates that only one in every eight Kenyans thinks democracy is being practiced to a large extent, while four in every 10 believe it’s only being practiced to a small extent.

Women, at 59 per cent, account for the largest number of people who don’t know what democracy is. Men are at 27 per cent.

The survey was conducted on December 1-30 last year. It interviewed 1,714 respondents aged 18 years and above on the phone. The survey had a 95 per cent confidence level and a margin of error of +2.37.

Twenty-eight per cent of the respondents felt the opposition parties have had the biggest contribution to Kenya’s democracy. Fourteen per cent gave credit to NASA candidate Raila Odinga.

Civil society groups and non-governmental organizations ranked third, with 12 per cent approval. The media was fourth at 10 per cent and President Uhuru Kenyatta had 7 per cent. Other organizations collectively had 13 per cent, while 14 per cent said they don’t know who the champions of democracy are.

“Going by these findings, the government has reason to be concerned. Citizens will lose hope and give up if they are met with deaf ears or unresponsive authorities,” director of Data and Voice at Twaweza John Mugo said.