By Joe Kiarie
Voters believe Cabinet ministers and Members of Parliament are the most corrupt. This is the finding in a national corruption perception report released as Kenyans debate integrity criteria for clearing aspirants for elective offices.
According to the survey by the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC), 45.3 per cent of Kenyans believe that most MPs are involved in graft, with a further 12.5 per cent saying all legislators are corrupt. Forty per cent of Kenyans say most Cabinet ministers and their assistants are corrupt, with another 8.6 per cent insisting none of them is clean.
The May 2012 report, which was released on Friday, singles out Permanent Secretaries (36.1 per cent); civic (33.4 per cent), and religious leaders (30 per cent) as among others believed to widely engage in corrupt deals.
The report comes at a time some MPs have been accused of pocketing millions of shillings to either support or shoot down crucial Motions in Parliament. Gichugu MP Martha Karua recently described Parliament as “the greatest auction house in Africa”.
The last one-year has also seen a number of ministers, assistant ministers, and MPs arraigned in court to answer charges of corruption, misappropriation of funds, and abuse of office among other crimes.
Those in court
Those who have been charged with such offences in 2012 include Eldoret South MP Peris Simam, Msambweni MP Omar Zonga, and Public Health Assistant Minister James Gesami.
Overall, the EACC survey conducted last year, shows that 61.8 per cent of Kenyans believe that corruption is very high in the country, marking an 11.9 per cent rise in comparison to the proportion of the public who held a similar opinion in 2010.
“Similarly, 54.5 per cent of the respondents indicate that the level of corruption is increasing in the last one year compared to 39.2 per cent of the population in 2010,” the report notes.
Grippingly, a staggering 73.2 per cent of the respondents cited personal experience as the main factor shaping their rating of corruption in the country, with the rest citing discussions and media reports.
Among Government ministries, 58.6 per cent of Kenyans deem the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security as the most corrupt. It is followed by the Ministry of Lands (19.3 per cent), Ministry of Education (19.1 per cent), Ministry of Immigration and Registration of Persons (17 per cent), Ministry of Public Health (14.6 per cent, and the Ministry of Local Government (11.4 per cent).