County bosses distance themselves from corruption index

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria

Governors serving their second terms rejected a report by the anti-graft agency that highlighted demand for bribes in the counties.

County chiefs who were in office in 2016 when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission undertook the graft survey, dismissed the findings while first-term governors blamed the rot on their predecessors.

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, whose county was named as the most corrupt, dismissed the report as ‘political witch hunt’.

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

Wa Iria claimed the release of the survey was calculated to taint the county leadership in a wider scheme to influence the country’s succession debate.

He accused Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata of fighting him politically. Mr Kang’ata had said that despite huge allocations from the National Treasury, there had been no tangible development projects in the past five years.

The Migori County government disputed the contention that it was among the most corrupt.

The EACC report ranked the county among the bottom 10 counties by proportion of those who paid bribes.

“This clearly indicates that Migori is among the least corrupt counties in Kenya,” said the county’s director of communication, Nicholas Anyuor.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said she was not in office at the time of the survey that ranked the county fourth among the most corrupt.

“The EACC should make a clear distinction as to who was in office lest the residents view me as the one who messed up,” said Ms Waiguru.

Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki accepted the findings, but explained he was not in office at the time.

“A government financial year starts in June and ends in June the following year. This means we are not associated in any way with the results released,” Muthomi told a public baraza at Mitheru chief’s camp.

But his predecessor, Samuel Ragwa, during a breakfast show on a local radio station, said the corruption survey did not only refer to the county executive headed by the governor but departments in the county, including those attached to the national government.

The Trans Nzoia administration promised to institute radical measures to tame the vice. The county was ranked second after Murang’a.

Deputy Government Stanley Tarus said corruption had dogged the county from 2015-2016.

“We don’t dispute the report. We must admit that there were cases of graft but we have taken action,” Dr Tarus said.


Meru Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu also blamed the previous administration, explaining that steps had been taken to ensure discipline in public finance management.

Governor Ndiritu Muriithi attributed the cases of corruption in Laikipia to incompetence of the previous regime.