Kenya downgraded by seven points on the Transparency International corruption perception index(CPI) from position 144 in 2018 to 137 in 2019. However, we are well below the global average and worse still, below the Africa average.
The CPI RANKS 180 countries and territories globally by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.
The reports details that corruption ranges from fraud that occurs at the highest levels of government to petty bribery that blocks access to basic public services like healthcare and education, citizens are fed up with corrupt leaders and institutions.
The institutions perceived to be most corrupt in Kenya include the National Police Service, the public service, land administration, tax administration, and public procurement.
According to the Governance and corruption report, the Kenya National Police Service is ranked as the most corrupt institution in the country, and bribery is reported to be the easiest way to access expedited police services.
Expounding further, the competitiveness of Kenya’s business environment is impeded by rampant public-service corruption. Complying with administrative requirements takes a lot of time and is plagued by red tape (GCR 2016-2017). Registration and licensing services are severely affected by bribery, making starting a business very costly in Kenya.
The report put forward that in land administration, fake land title deeds are frequently used and disappearances of title deeds from the registrar’s office are common; houses are also built on illegally acquired property.
Furthermore, the report annotated that in tax administration, tax rates are identified among the most problematic factors for business. The tax administration in Kenya carries a high risk of corruption. Companies report that irregular payments and bribes in the process of tax payments are very common.
The government has been lauded for improved vigilance of corruption practices. In this financial year, the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) recovered Ksh209 Million in cash, and an estimated Ksh6.19 Billion in value of land and immovable assets recovered.
The report goes on to suggest probable solutions to these maladies. To have any chance of curbing corruption, the government must strengthen checks and balances, limit the influence of big money in politics, and ensure broad input in political decision-making.
The state of corruption speaks to a need for greater political integrity in many sectors of the Kenyan public service bureaucracy.