Survey: Kenyan youth okay with getting rich through corruption

From left, Alex Awiti director at Aga Khan East Africa institute, Hip-Hop artist Mombasa Kelvin Omondi Obunga(C) and Gituro Wainaina Director General of Kenya Vision 2030 officially launch the Kenya Youth Survey Report. PHOTO: EDWARD KIPLIMO.

NAIROBI: Majority of youth have no problem amassing wealth through evading tax evasion and corruption as long as they do not get prosecuted, a new report has revealed.

A new report commissioned by the East African Institute (EAI), the Kenya Youth Survey Report, revealed that 50 per cent of youth in Kenya do not care what means one uses to make money as long as they do not end up in jail.

This was anchored by 30 per cent who exuded the belief that corruption is profitable with 35 percent ready to give or receive a bribe. Only 40 percent of the polled strongly believed that it was important to pay taxes.

A similar situation was displayed in the political arena where 62 percent of youth were noted to be vulnerable to electoral bribery with 40 per cent confessing that they would only vote for aspirants who bribe them, which was exhibited more in the rural area.

"More rural women, compared to urban would vote for the person who bribed them. Rural males were also twice more likely to vote for the candidate who paid them compared to their urban counterparts," read the report in part.

These statistics however contradicted the high level of faith anchored values that 85 percent of the youth possessed.

Despite wealth coming third in values among the youth after faith, family (60 per cent) and work (30 per cent), most youth were still willing to compromise their integrity based on their faith to justify their deeds as it was put Dr Alex Owiti Director EAI.

"These are the people being recruited in public offices, counties police force. What then odes it mean to the fight against corruption? Where are the spaces of integrity for us to carry out clean business?" he noted. "It is like they use their strong faith to justify that they are right keeping the in their involvement."

Noting the contradiction, Inuka Kenya boss John Githongo said the report shows exactly how the younger generation is emulating from their older counterparts.
"They have seen how our systems work where people steal and nothing happens to them beyond prosecution so nothing will happen to them either. It is just gimmicking that it is fighting corruption," he noted.

Acting Director General Vision 2030 Gituro Wainaina shared the same thoughts: "This report cuts across every demographics in the country. We have tendencies of praising corrupt individuals hence let us not blame the youth for propagating it."

The sample size of the survey was 1860 and was conducted in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. It was conducted between 2014-2015.