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Registrar of persons, public hospitals indexed most graft-prone institutions

At least 20 officials at the Civil Registration Bureau were arrested on November in an anti-graft sweep targeting clerks soliciting bribes from applicants/ FILE – Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – The Office of the Registrar of persons and public hospitals have been ranked the most corruption prone institutions in the latest survey by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The two were ranked first and second at 19.9 per cent and 19.7 per cent according to the 2018 National Corruption Survey released on Tuesday.

EACC Director of Preventive Services Vincent Okango indicated that police stations, Chief’s Offices and the Ministry of Lands were also prone to corruption at 17.2 per cent, 16 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.

The research established that most Kenyans were willing to go the lengths of bribing the officials in the said offices in a bid to get the services quickly, seek assistance to get a job, access to service among other reasons.

Okongo stated that the worrying trend was captured amongst a sample population of 5,942 who were interviewed for the period between November 16 to December 19 last year.

“Majority of the people said that while seeking services 27 percent experienced bribery demand in 2017 and 24 percent in 2018. Those who paid bribery said it was the only option to either get the service or hasten the service delivery,” Okongo said.

Of those who paid bribes, 82.1 per cent received the service they were seeking compared to 29.3 percent who received the service after refusing to pay bribe.

It is worth noting that the report indicated that 20.1 per cent of the respondents did not receive the service they sought even after paying bribe while 70.7 per cent were denied services after failing to pay a bribe.

Okongo stated that there is a big correlation between paying for a bribe and receiving services in those institutions.

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“Many responses that we got is that many of them were served well and fast after paying the bribe and they would rather use that route because there was nothing else, they would have done. Therefore, some public servants indeed take advantage of Kenyans who need government services,” said Okango.

Interior Cabinet Secretary’s Fred Matiangi’ ministry was ranked the most prone to corruption followed by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, and Ministry of Lands.

EACC Chairperson Archbishop (Rtd) Most Reverend Eliud Wabukala urged Kenyans to exercise patience in a bid to fight the urge to bribe or be bribed all in an effort to fight corruption in the country, a menace that continues to rid of the country billions of shillings in revenues.

“The statistics have indeed shown that Kenyans are not patient. My advice to them is that if we are to win this war, we need to have patience. No one should be bribed to offer you a government service because you have already paid tax. Let us focus on being genuine citizen because a service to man is a service to God,” he urged.

Early November, twenty-four individuals were among 20 civil registration officials arrested as police launched a manhunt for cartels behind the inordinate delays in the processing birth and death certificates at the civil registry.

Police also arrested four officials at a Nairobi health facility identified as St Francis Hospital.

“I am saying this, and I repeat that you do not have to be told stories of see me in the afternoon or buy me tea when you are going for these documents. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated. We must serve the public as decent and responsible servants and we are going to be very stiff on this,” Matiangi, who spoke after National Police Inspector General Hilary Mutyambai ordered the arrests, warned.

Birth certificates are particularly crucial for candidates sitting for Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) exams – Kenya Certificate Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) – being part of registration requirements.

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