By Chris Maina
A Gallup of 2013 (it is August 2014) which purported to ask which president in Africa is doing his/her job is the sweetener for Jubilee bloggers and supporters looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. Sadly, the light, which Gallup has provided by ranking President Uhuru no.3, seem to be that of an oncoming train.
Of course, once again, the dominant trait of a jubilee alliance supporters as kenyans who believe their own propaganda has been again confirmed as true.
For a people who spent a whole two years dismissing poll after poll leading to the 2013 presidential election as being cooked by NGOs and CORD, the speed and extent in which they have wallowed in this Gallup must be mesmerizing even to themselves.
Even more egregious is that Gallup is an American polling body – the same America they chronicle as ‘declining imperial power’. If Jubilee supporters were people who get ashamed easily, they wouldn’t be too joyous in sharing polling data from a ‘colonial’ power.
Enough with our fellow citizens. Forgive their political short-comings. Let’s get to Gallup.
In the polls that ranks President Uhuru no. 3 ‘best’ performing African President, a unique feature is that Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is ranked ahead of South Africa’s Jacob Zuma and Liberia’s Hellen Johnson Sirleaf. In fact, Mugabe is doing a better job than Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan!
That’s how ‘credible’ a Gallup poll can be for Africa. You will recall that for Kenya, the same Gallup had predicted President Kibaki would win the 2007 elections, setting stage for a rigging debacle that ended in over half a million displaced and some thousands killed in an orgy whose numbers remain under-reported to date.
In America, the home of Gallup, infuriated Democratic Party pollster Joel Benenson dismissed Â findings of Gallup in the 2012 elections (which Obama won against Gallup’s projected Romney) as a sham.
â€œI think itâ€™s long overdue for an organization with a name as well-known as Gallup to recognize what the demographics of the American electorate actually are and figure out why their model has continued to skew too old, too white and less likely to be college educated than the nationâ€™s voters,â€ Benenson said.
If Gallup can mislead the American voters, how about its work in a jungle it knows nothing about?
The other issue with Gallup’s poll ranking African presidents is its little understanding of African citizens. People here know very little outside their borders.
Ask the charged Jubilee supporters why Uhuru was ranked no. 3 and not no. 1 and they begin foaming in their mouths – because they know little outside Kenya.
Many probably didn’t even know the Presidents of the first two countries, when they were elected and what terms they are. Many many more do not know they type of government and nature of constitution.
Gallup however throws all these issue under the rag and comes up with names of people in a descending order, giving the impression that those at the top are doing good jobs than those below them. Â It is only in Gallup that Sirleaf of Liberia is doing a less commendable job than Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
Whatever the motivation of this Gallup poll was, it is a sad reminder of the interference of certain western institutions in Africa’s democracy.