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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,5TH SEPT 2018-Recent development which have seen Kenya and the united states stir up their relations especially after President Trump invited president Kenyatta at the white house have been acknowledged by Kenyans.
According to the results of a research conducted by research firm Ipsos synovate confirms the statement.
The results say 38 per cent of 2,016 respondents involved in the study conducted between July 25 and August 2 supports relations with US compared to 25 per cent who supported good relations with China.
The study indicates that approval for better relations with China was high among supporters of the Jubilee Party at 30 per cent and low among supporters of the opposition alliance at 19 per cent.
“Among the Jubilee Party supporters, positive identification of China has dropped from 44 per cent in March to just 30 per cent, with almost as many (28 per cent) now considering the US the country’s most important development partner,” the poll firm said in its 2018 second quarter release.
About 50 percent of 694 Opposition supporters interviewed – 49 per cent – supported better relations with the US.
“Among NASA supporters, such positive identification of China was 24% per cent (as opposed to 32 per cent for the US), whereas in this survey this gap has increased to 49 per cent for the US vs. just 19 per cent for China,” the pollster noted.
Only 28 per cent of 1,043 Jubilee Party stalwarts who were part of the poll’s sample population thought better relations with the US were “most important.”
Other nations listed by the respondents as of great significance to the country were the United Kingdom (4 per cent), South Africa (4 per cent), and Germany (3 per cent) representing both the aggregate support and that among supporters of the governing party.
Opposition supporters interviewed considered relations with the three nations of least significant with only 3, 1, and 2 per cent respectively rating partnerships with the countries as “most important.”
Japan (2 per cent), Russia (2 per cent), Sweden (1 per cent), and Israel (1 per cent) were listed sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth.
The survey was conducted at a time President Kenyatta had announced his visit to the White House where he met President Donald Trump on August 27 as well as UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to Nairobi on August 30.
The two engagements were followed by Kenyatta’s attendance of the Forum for China Africa Cooperation in Beijing this week during which he held separate talks with President Xi Jinping.
Nearly half – 49 per cent – of the respondents identified loans and grants as the main reason for considering relations with the US as most beneficial with 38 per cent listing infrastructure.
According to Ipsos, the awareness of President Trump among respondents stood at 62 per cent with but a staggering 68 per cent of respondents gave negative responses on his style of leadership.
Trump’s perceived negative view of the African continent topped negative responses at 39 per cent with his trade protectionism tendencies coming second at 7 per cent.
Seven per cent of the respondents also said he was a threat to peace.
The poll was conducted in forty-six counties across the country.