NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – Kenya has been ranked position 137 in Transparency International’s global Corruption Perception Index for 2019, rising a percentage point from 2018’s 27 per cent score to stand at 28 per cent.
In East Africa, Kenya tied with Uganda and ranks below Rwanda which managed to score 53 per cent, the highest in the region.
Tanzania scored 37 per cent ranking at position 97 globally.
Denmark and New Zealand were cited the least corrupt nations, ranking to of the chat with a score of 87.
The average regional score was the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa at 32 per cent compared to 66 per cent in western Europe, the region with the highest average score.
The report, which was released on Thursday, indicated the country had stagnated at between 25 and 28 per cent for the last 9 years, depicting slow progress in the fight against corruption, Kenya’s main threat to development and unity.
“The report ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption which is collected by a variety of reputable institutions,” TI noted.
Somalia, South Sudan and Syria were singled out as the most corrupt nations scoring 9, 12 and 13 per cent respectively.
Some 180 countries are ranked annually in the global Corruption Perception Index.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Seychelles and Botswana are among the least corrupt nations at 66 and 61 per cent respectively.
Other countries in Africa which scored poorly include Ethiopia at 37 per cent, Zambia (34), Nigeria (26), Zimbabwe (24) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (18).
According to the report, only 22 countries have improved their CPI scores over the past 8 years among them Greece, Guyana and Estonia.
In the same period, 21 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Canada, Australia and Nicaragua.
“In the remaining 137 countries, the levels of corruption show little to no change. The highest-scoring region is Western Europe with an average score of 66,” reads the report.
Transparency International also sought to highlight the relationship between politics, money and corruption. It emerged that countries that perform well on the CPI also have stronger enforcement measures on campaign financing regulations and a broader range of political consultation.
The report showed countries where campaign finance regulations are comprehensive and systematically enforced have an average score of 70 on the CPI, whereas countries where such regulations either don’t exist or are poorly enforced score an average of just 34 and 35 per cent respectively.
In the case of Kenya, the report noted that authorities have failed to regulate funds used in campaigns despite enacting the Election Campaign Financing Act in 2013.
The report noted that the Kenyan Parliament “has deferred the implementation of the legislation to the 2022 election further crippling the ability of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to monitor and regulate money used in campaigns. This has made elections in Kenya among the most expensive polls in Africa, a trend that should be urgently reversed.”
“Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chairperson of Transparency International.
It is not all doom and gloom however the report projects citing a recent directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta on conflict of interest.
The directive, the lobby group noted, has the potential of escalating the ongoing efforts to slay the graft dragon.