Chiefs, village elders top corruption list

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji (left) flanked by The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission of Kenya EACC Chairman Eliud Wabukhala (centre) and Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo address a press conference. EACC released a study on corruption index in the counties and state departments at KICC on Monday. [File, Willis Awandu/Standard]

 A report by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission reveals chiefs and village elders are high up in the corruption rankings.

The study by anti-corruption agency says that averagely, Kenyans part with Sh5,058 in bribery for a given service.

The survey findings released on Monday showed women paid more bribes, Sh5,579 compared to men’s Sh4,718.

The corruption survey says 17 out of 100 respondents had to pay to access public services.

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Applying for a birth certificate has been cited as among services prone to bribery. The high rate of bribery at the Registrar of Persons office, which the report ranked fourth, can be tied to the influx of immigrants in the country.

The Ministry of Interior has launched a crackdown on illegal immigrants, combing even to the most interior of places.

Immigration

The immigration department (3.4%) is listed as among institution where bribes were paid.

Last month, police in Bondo arrested 16 Congolese in an operation as the purge on illegal immigrants took effect. Bondo OCPD Harriet Kinya said the foreigners were found operating businesses without proper documentation.

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Other services prone to bribery are ID collection and renewal at 14.6 per cent, seeking medical attention (11.9%) and job placement, which ranked at 5.6%.   

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission National Ethic and Corruption Survey 2017 comes at a time when the country is grappling with graft, which has hurt public services.

The report also lists solving land conflict and reporting a crime as services that would attract a bribe.

Some 16.4% of the bribes were paid to the police and at police stations, the report adds.

This is further listed by the 3.9% who said they had to part with some money to bail out arrested individuals.

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Ironically, 1.9% of the respondents said they had to part with a bribe while seeking police certificate of good conduct.

The report signed by EACC chairman Archbishop Eliud Wabukala was released at the KICC to provide data that will, hopefully, strengthen the anti-corruption strategy.

It covered 47 counties with 5,977 respondents, conducted from 18th September to 24th October, 2017.

But...why?

Further analysis reveals a staggering 50 per cent of those who paid bribes did so as it was the only option to access the services.

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Seventeen per cent of Kenyans also engaged in corruption to hasten the service, while 13% paid to avoid problems with authorities. Ten per cent paid bribes because it is normal.

In Marsabit, Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Kitui, paying bribes is mostly the only way to access a service. 

Instances of paying bribe to hasten up the services were largely witnessed in Garissa (48.8%) and Isiolo (42.4%). Top in the list of respondents who would pay bribes to hasten a service were also recorded in Elgeyo Marakwet, Kajiado and Siaya.

Residents in Narok, Busia, Laikipia, Kisumu and Kericho paid bribes because it was expected, the report says.

However, the EACC says the average times a bribe is demanded has reduced to 1.57 times nationally, compared to 1.66 in the 2016 survey

Ethics and Anti-Corruption CommissionKenyansRegistrar of PersonsArchbishop Eliud WabukalaKICCCorruptionChiefsVillage Elders