TI Index: Police still most corrupt

July 17, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 17 – The Police Department has once again been ranked as the most corrupt in the country in a new Kenya Bribery Index released by Transparency International – Kenya chapter on Thursday.

The law enforcement agency takes the ranking for the seventh year running.

The Index, that features 26 organisations, places the Ministry of Local Government and the Lands Ministry in second and third place respectively.

The Immigration Department, Provincial Administration, Ministry of Health and Public Hospitals also appear as some of the most corrupt, while religious and micro-finance institutions have been named as the least corrupt.

TI Research Advisor Tom Wolf, while releasing the report on Thursday, said the likelihood of encountering bribery within the police force is highest at 93 percent.

“The police ranking is compounded by the police capacity to extract bribes from citizens and the ability to inflict punishment, amongst others,” Wolf highlighted.

The report that is released annually saw seven institutions exit and the entry of three new ones.

The entrants include Kenya Revenue Authority, Water Companies and Private Universities.

Institutions out of the red were the Teacher Service Commission, Transport Licensing Board, Lawyers, Attorney General’s office, Prisons, Insurance Companies and Posta.

The Researcher said that the report also indicated that a majority of Kenyans were unlikely to report when forced to give bribes for services.

He said Kenyans were paying more in bribes due to government inefficiency in service delivery.

Wolf said; “45 percent of the respondents paid bribes to speed up access to services, compared to 29 percent last year.”

TI Chairman Dr Richard Leakey said the government needed to do more to curb rampant corruption within its institutions.

Leakey said various interventions in institutional reforms both at local and national levels still left room for corrupt practices.

“The index as released must serve as a reminder that corruption remains a significant challenge to public service delivery in Kenya,” the TI chairman stated.

The government on Wednesday conceded failure in meeting its targets to fight corruption and change public perception on the vice in the country, despite enacting various legislations and a spirited fight by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC).

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua said that the government had failed to act on recommendations by various Commissions of Inquiry to stop graft.

Speaking at the third National Integrity Forum in Nairobi, Karua confessed that government inaction had encouraged the culture of impunity and undermined the war on corruption.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga complained that the vice continued to push back would-be investors from the country, keeping away revenue and much needed employment. He also blamed leaders for politicising it.

The Kenya Bribery index is a product of a compressive and objective analysis of occurrences of bribery in national institutions of governance through the examination of the personal experiences of ordinary Kenyans with corruption, within the public sector.

The survey was conducted between April 25 and May 4 2008 and used a random sample of 2,400 respondents in all eight provinces.

Meanwhile, Vice President (VP) Kalonzo Musyoka has advised the KACC to pursue bribe givers in their endeavours to fight corruption in the country.

Kalonzo said that so far efforts aimed at combating the vice had almost solely been targeted at public officers who execute deals aimed at defrauding the public.

“When a Permanent Secretary or Cabinet Minister is facing charges for abuse of office, the individual from the private sector who offered the bribe is normally left alone to target the next Permanent Secretary or Minister,” the VP stated.

Closing the 3rd National Integrity Review conference at the Bomas of Kenya on Thursday, Kalonzo urged the anti-graft body to involve Kenyans more in the war against corruption, particularly when pursuing top government officials.

He said KACC should always continue to mobilise the public by enhancing their understanding of the nature, causes and effects of corruption.

Kalonzo said; “We can never win this war without the support of the people. Once the general public is galvanised into genuine anger against corruption it will be a matter of time before we declare success.”


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