A survey released by Aga Khan University, East African Institute on Monday showed that half of Kenyan youth condone corruption and adore successful beneficiaries of the vice.
East African Institute Director Alex Awiti, who released the results of the survey conducted between 2014 and 2015, said 50 percent of youth don’t see anything wrong with using corrupt means to make money as long as they are not caught.
“50 percent believe it doesn’t matter how one makes money as long as one does not end up in jail. 47 percent admire those who hook or crook, (including hustling). 30 percent believe corruption is profitable,” Awiti explained.
Based on Kenya’s worrying trend of corruption, Inuka Kenya Chief Executive Officer John Githongo said the results did not come as a surprise since the country has a long history of corruption.
“Those engaged in corruption, those thieves … the youth have seen those thieves prosper since independence,” he said.
They survey further confirmed the worst fears of tackling widespread corruption in the society after it revealed that 35 percent of young people are comfortable with giving or receiving bribes.
It was also disturbing to see that only 40 percent of the young people appreciate the importance of paying taxes.
The report further revealed active participation by the youth with 90 percent finding value in voting and another 70 percent believed they have power to make a difference in the democratic and political space.
Sadly, 40 percent of the youth said they would only vote for a candidate who bribed them; “62 percent of the youth are vulnerable to electoral bribery. Compared to the urban counterparts, rural males were twice as likely to vote for the candidate who bribed.”
The research at the same time revealed positive developments towards establishing a united Kenya.
Contrary to the perception that Kenya is a highly divided country based on tribe, the research revealed that only 5 percent of the youth identify themselves by their tribe.
95 percent of them identify themselves first as Kenyans, by their religion or their classification as youth.
“It is widely believed that Kenya is irredeemable fracture country. However, ethnicity is the least important dimension of identity among Kenyan youth. 40 Percent of youth identify as Kenyans first, while 35 percent identify as youth first. About 12 percent by their faith first,” Dr. Awiti explained.
It was interesting also to note that 85 percent of the youth value their religions first, 60 percent, family, 45 percent work and 30 percent value wealth and freedom first.
According to Dr. Awiti, stakeholders working to empower youth and create jobs should capitalise on the potential discovered in the new survey.
Compared to past years, the survey revealed that most youth have education basics and more qualifications.
Dr. Auma Obama, Founder and Director of Sauti Kuu Foundation said the survey was an important platform to address challenges young people are facing by identifying the needy areas.