The Integrity Challenge before Kenya

This is a corruption free zonePublic service in Kenya has long been associated with corruption and value-less leadership. Kenya is ranked 145 out of 175 countries as the most corrupt in 2014 (Transparency International). It is estimated that the average urban Kenyan citizen will be solicited and pay 16 petty bribes each month. 40% of the bribes are upwards of Kshs 50,000. 250,000 jobs could have been created if we were to eliminate corruption (World Bank)

 

In 2010, Kenyans voted for the adoption of Integrity as a national value and Chapter 6 within the Constitution.  Alongside accountability and governance, it was hoped that the constitution would instil a culture of integrity that would bind all public officers in the performance of their duties and at all times. All Public Officials would be required to exercise objectivity, impartiality,

Sadly, five years after the promulgation of the Constitution this value remains a chapter in a constitution. It is yet to be a lived value, a standard not just to measure our leaders but all citizens.  The Leadership and Integrity Act (2012) and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act (2012) have structural deficiencies and do not require Public Officials to make public their wealth declaration forms. To date, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Authority and the Deputy Public Prosecutor have proved ineffective in prosecuting and convicting suspects. The judiciary has currently less than 30 cases before its anti-corruption courts. Nepotism, favouritism and corruption through bribery, procurement deals, sale of public assets and public land abound.

 

Within this context, the March 26 Presidential State of the Nation address was momentous.  The Presidential Address implicated 175 Public Officials including Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Parastatal Heads in several cases of corruption. The President further gave the law enforcement agencies 60 days to compile evidence and prosecute those on the list. The scale of the corruption is staggering. 

Summary of the scale of EACC "List of Shame"
Unxplained Wealth Value of Projects Affected Public Monies Lost
KES. 7.1 Billion KES. 473 Billion KES. 15.6 Billion

A quick analysis of the funds lost suggests that Kenya is once again at the crossroads. If action is not taken on some if not all of those implicated, the culture of impunity may not be transformable in in the near future.