It will now be unlawful for pollsters to publish their findings on electoral matters within the last five days to the General Election.
This follows the signing into law of the Publication of Electoral Opinion Polls Bill 2011 by President Kibaki.
According to the Bill, pollsters violating the requirement would be slapped with a Sh500,000 fine or face a one-year jail term.
Sponsored by Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, the Act seeks to regulate opinion polls by requiring initial publisher of the results of an electoral opinion poll to provide information regarding the methodology of the survey and the sponsors of the polls. It also requires the pollsters to reveal the identity of individuals who conducted the surveys.
Pollsters must also reveal the type of questions asked and the manner in which they were framed to the respondents.
“It is borne of the reality that the publication of the results of electoral opinion polls influences voters to vote in one way or the other. As such there is need for a law to ensure that such electoral opinion polls are conducted in a scientific and transparent manner and all the relevant information disclosed to the public,” Khalwale said of the Act.
The Act drew condemnation from industry players saying pollsters already have an umbrella body that deals with their professional conduct.
– Stories by Steve Mkawale and Peter Opiyo