Kenyan police refuse to ditch graft tag

July 22, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22 – The Kenya Police has once again been ranked the most corrupt institution in Kenya, according to the East African Bribery Index 2010 released by Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya) on Thursday.

The Nairobi City Council is second on the list of the top 10 most corrupt public institutions, which also include the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Judiciary.

Speaking during the launch of the report on Thursday, TI-Kenya Executive Director Samuel Kimeu however said the country’s corruption prevalence had declined from 45 percent in 2009 to 31.9 percent this year.

“We have the police with 81.6 percent, Nairobi’s local authority with 68.5 percent, the Ministry of State for Defence with 61.7 percent, the Judiciary, the Ministry of Lands, the Registrar of Persons, the Prisons Department, the Kenya Ports Authority, the Immigration Department and the Kenya Revenue Authority,” he said.

The index also featured the Kenya Prisons Service and the Kenya Ports Authority as new entrants in the corruption index as well as the exit of the Ministry of Public Works, the National Social Security Fund and the National Health Insurance Fund.

The Ministry of State for Defence was also highlighted as taking the biggest bribe size with an average of Sh53,500 up from Sh42,000.

Further Mr Kimeu noted that over a half of Kenyans had no faith in the government’s ability to fight corruption.

“Of the 3,022 Kenyan respondents, 61.9 percent said they don’t think the government is doing enough to combat the vice; 22.9 percent said yes while 11.9 percent said maybe,” he explained.

Across East Africa, the TI report listed Burundi as the most corrupt country, followed by Uganda with Kenya coming third. Rwanda is the least corrupt.

An Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Alfred Khang’ati who had been invited to the launch of the report to give the government’s position on tackling corruption asked the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) to start naming and shaming corrupt public and private officials.

“It is time you people (KACC) started prosecuting people; even though you don’t have those powers you can embarrass those people because embarrassment is a deterrent measure. None of us want to be in the front pages of newspapers as the most corrupt,” he said.

He also accused the anti corruption body of wasting public resources in educating the masses on corruption. He said the commission needed to instead come up with ways that would effectively fight the vice.

“You spend a lot of money on adverts explaining what the KACC is; you print beautiful calendars and talk to people about corruption but my take is that anybody who is corrupt is already aware that what they are doing is wrong so you are not telling them anything new when you educate them on corruption,” he said.

He also asked Kenyans to refrain from giving bribes saying it would be the first step towards ridding the country off corruption.

“These corrupt people don’t give bribes to themselves. Sometimes Kenyans even offer bribes before they are even asked to and we need to change,” he said.



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