NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 17- Corruption is taking root in counties, according to a survey done by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
The survey that targeted 39 out of 47 counties had 4,965 county employees interviewed in various departments and 20pc of the respondents perceived county governments to be highly corrupt, 36 pc said they are moderately corrupt while 35 percent said they are lowly corrupt.
Counties that were not surveyed include Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Lamu, Tana River, Samburu, Marsabit and Turkana – the reason being insecurity.
Bribery was most common in all the counties surveyed with a percentage of 47 pc, favouritism 30pc, procurement irregularities had 26 pc and embezzlement of funds 20 pc.
The report indicates on average, county employees received the largest amount of bribe in roads and public works where between Sh100, 000 and Sh150,000 was paid.
Poor remuneration, lack of professional ethics and culture were cited as the main reasons why bribes were taken.
When respondents in the survey were asked whether they had witnessed county employees receiving bribes so as to deliver particular services, 6pc of them reported yes while a majority 93pc reported not to have witnessed the rest of the 1pc had no response.
Bribery is common in Nairobi, Mombasa, Machakos, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Nakuru and Kiambu counties.
The report showed the forms of corruption affect service delivery in general, bring poverty, loss of money and infringement of human rights among others.
The report shows most employees at the counties however believe EACC is effective in the fight against corruption.
Most people recommend the development and implementation of anti-bribery compliance policy to curb incidences of bribery in the County Public Service delivery and ensure value for money in road construction and other infrastructure.
Ministry of Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri who was speaking at the official launch of the corruption and ethics survey on Tuesday said the report gives them a general status of corruption in County Governments.
“The findings of the survey will act as a baseline for designing county anti-corruption strategies, review of administrative policy and legal framework to promote good governance” he said.
Kiunjuri said the key recommendation of the report is the enhancement of public participation in budgeting and project implementation process so as to ensure their concerns are considered throughout the decision process particularly in development projects so as to make the process more legitimate and less subject to challenge.
“To implement the recommendations of this report, my ministry will continue to coordinate and support policy decisions that are aimed at enhancing the devolution process” he said.
Also speaking at the launch was EACC Deputy Secretary Michael Mubea who said people should not be afraid to report cases of corruption as there is no victimization.
He urged people to say no to bribes.
EACC Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo handed over the report to Devolution Principal Secretary Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki and urged her to ensure its is relayed to the counties for implementation.
Mabruki said it expected that the resources should be used prudently to achieve the objective of devolution by having increase of public participation, national unity and accountability.