Corruption: Too much talk and little action

The National Ethics and Corruption Survey 2015 conducted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on the state of corruption in the country paints a gloomy picture of the country. There is enough cause for worry that despite all the hype about fighting corruption, cases of corruption have actually increased.

The survey sought to measure the levels of corruption and ethical behaviour within Government ministries and departments with a view to identifying services that were more prone to corruption. The verdict is greatly disheartening. President Uhuru Kenyatta's admission in November that corruption misdirects resources, sows hatred and divides our country was implicitly telling.

In the survey, getting basic services like securing tenders, being attended to in hospitals, getting relief food, seeking employment, acquiring either a birth certificate or an identity card, getting water reconnection or even reporting a crime at a police station all come at a cost. This varies in range from Sh200 to Sh275, 000. While in 2012 the rate of corruption stood at 67 per cent, the same went up to 73 per cent in 2015.

As usual, the police department has maintained its dubious reputation at the top of the corruption table, followed closely by the ministries of Health and Lands.

The advent of county governments has seen, as the joke goes, corruption devolved to counties. Chiefs (that much-maligned relic from colonial period) and their assistants have not been spared either. They provide the last link in the corruption chain.

Fighting corruption must go a step beyond the rhetoric Kenyans have become accustomed to.

The authorities must wage a convincing war to win public confidence that they are fighting corruption.