Governor rejects EACC report ranking county as most corrupt

Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria at a past event. (File, Standard)
Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has rejected a survey that ranked his county as the most corrupt.

He termed it political aimed at affecting the succession politics in the country.

“How do you rank the entire county as the most corrupt without indicating where the said demands were made and by who? Which department in the county did they rank?” he asked.

Wa Iria claimed the release of the survey by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission was well calculated to taint the county leadership in the wake of the succession debate.

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“They are looking for issues which can paint this county black so that come succession equation Murang’a  is exempted from the process. We know that. I am the only governor who was re-elected in this region,” said Wa Iria.

He also added some local leaders were not happy with his bill on hawking, which is now with the Senate for consideration. He was reacting to a report by EACC that ranked Murang’a County as most corrupt.

The EACC’s National Ethics and Corruption Survey 2016 was conducted before last year's general elections.

Those polled responded affirmatively on the demand for bribes with Murang'a leading with 90.7 percent followed by Trans Nzoia (84 percent), Mandera (79.4 percent) and Kirinyaga (78.9 percent),

Taking the fifth place as the most corrupt was Marsabit (78.2 percent) followed by Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Laikipia, Machakos, Nyandarua, Kilifi, Migori, Kisii, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kwale and Wajir Counties.

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On the other hand, Lamu County ranked least corrupt where respondents were reluctant to pay bribes followed by those in TaitaTaveta (8.3 percent), Tana River (12.10 percent) and Kericho.

The leadership of Migori too rejected the ranking saying it was misleading.

A sample of 6,000 households was estimated for the survey. This sample was distributed to the counties and rural and urban strata using the square root allocation method.

Of the ten ranked counties by average bribe, Busia County documented the highest at Sh81,559.87 followed by Tharaka Nithi (Sh40,906.63), Nairobi (Sh15,360.18), Lamu (Sh13.072.71), Isiolo (Sh7,950), Nyamira (Sh7,908), Marsabit (Sh7,202), Uasin Gishu (Sh7,010), Garissa (Sh6,981) and Mandera (Sh6,972).

The bottom ten counties by average bribe paid saw Turkana ranked last at Sh228.97 followed by Kilifi (Sh361.27), Bomet (Sh503.02), Kisii (Sh674.19), Kirinyaga (Sh877), Tana River (Sh1059), Kitui (Sh1118), Migori (Sh1207), Nandi (Sh1257) and Narok (Sh1332).

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“Further, 17.2 percent of the respondents indicated that they did not get the service even after paying a bribe compared to 82.8 percent who received the service after paying the bribe.”

“Overall, when those who paid the bribe were asked to rate their service experience, 71.6 percent indicated poor, 16.2 percent indicated fair while 12.2 percent indicated good,” says the report.

According to the report, Meru recorded the highest average bribe demands of 3.63 times followed by Kajiado (2.97) and Elgeyo Marakwet (2.81). Others were Kiambu, Baringo, Murang’a, Mandera, Nyandarua, Busia and Kitui.

Corruption was ranked by the respondents as the third major problem facing the country today.

This was preceded by poverty and unemployment. The other major problems cited by respondents include lack of clean and safe water, misappropriation of devolved funds, insecurity, unfavorable economic conditions, and infrastructure challenges such as bad roads and lack of electricity, tribalism, HIV/Aids, access to education, poor leadership, poor service provision and diseases.

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Most of those interviewed suggested that prosecution of all suspects will reduce corruption followed by public education and awareness campaigns on effects and consequences of corruption, adherence to the rule of law, reporting the cases, vetting all public officers, change of leaders and new law enforcement.

Other suggestions include improving salaries, unity of the country, integrity and end of tribalism

The report says the proportion of those paying bribes increased by 8 percent in 2016 to stand at 46 percent compared to 38 percent in the 2015 survey.

The report says overall, the average number of times a bribe is demanded nationally increased to 1.66 times from 1.56 in the 2015 Survey though lower than the average of 1.93 in 2012.

The average bribe was then Sh7,081.05 that represents a steep increase from the average of Sh5,648.58 recorded in the 2015 survey.

Application for or making alterations to a National Identification Card was cited as the leading services for which bribes were demanded followed by application for and collection of birth certificates, seeking medical attention, registration of land, traffic related services and reporting an occurrence of a crime.

Governor Mwangi Wa Iriamurang'a countyeacccorruption