Kenyans blame devolution for runaway corruption

Many Kenyans believe devolution has worsened corruption, a new study by IPSOS Kenya says.

The survey of more than 1,000 Kenyans conducted in five counties - Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru and Uasin Gishu - shows slightly more than a third of the respondents feel that devolution has led to increased graft in the devolved units.

Nepotism in the award of jobs and unequal distribution of resources as well as the lack of service delivery were other vices noted in the counties.

Raised concern

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However, 32 per cent of the respondents feel that devolution has led to an equal distribution of resources. Nairobi has higher approval, with about a third of the respondents saying devolution has brought services closer to them.

“Majority (49 per cent) of the respondents are satisfied with the performance of their county government. Kisumu County had the highest (60 per cent) of respondents who were satisfied with the performance of their county government while Nakuru had the least (38 per cent),” said the survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations. For businesses, a third of the respondents raised concern over low revenue collection in counties and higher taxes.

More than half of the respondents said there are too many taxes/levies with the way their counties generate revenue.

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A majority (64 per cent) of Kisumu residents felt there were poor revenue collection systems. Counties, the report said, are yet to involve the public in their affairs such as budget process.

“When it comes to levels of public participation, about 75 per cent of Kenyans surveyed indicated taking part in county meetings, but only 15 per cent indicated participating in the budgeting process,” said IPSOS Director Hilda Kiritu.

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