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Majority say President Uhuru Kenyatta not sincere in graft war

By Kipchumba Some | December 5th 2015

Majority Kenyans think President Uhuru Kenyatta is not sincere in his fight against corruption, a new report released Friday shows.

The report indicates that 63 per cent of Kenyans think the President is insincere in his anti-corruption efforts, as opposed to 37 per cent who think otherwise.

The report was done by research firm, Ipsos, and it mainly measures the public concern on corruption. The research was done between November 7 to 19 and 2,058 Kenyans in 41 counties were interviewed.

The new confidence rating marks a steep slide from the 51 per cent positive perception rating that President enjoyed from the public in August, says the poll.

The August rating came out before the full scale of the corruption scandals in government and mainly at Ministry of Devolution and Planning was exposed to the public.

In addition, 41 per cent of Kenyans think that President Kenyatta will not succeed in reducing corruption despite his best efforts as opposed to 38 per cent who are confident that he will.

The report comes at a time when the President has intensified efforts to fight graft that is widely seen to have risen to epic proportions during his term in office. Two weeks ago, the President fired six of his Cabinet Secretaries, three Principal Secretaries and other senior Government officials over alleged corruption in their ministries.

Nonetheless, a solid majority of wananchi, 65 per cent, said they do not believe that those mentioned in corruption will ever be convicted, mirroring a dire lack of faith by Kenyans in institutions charged with fighting corrutption.

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More worrying is the fact that most Kenyans have little faith in the main institution charged with fighting graft, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

According to the Ipsos report, 55 per cent of Kenyans said they have little or no faith at all in the commission. Only seven per cent of Kenyans said they had confidence in the institution. This marks a new low for the troubled EACC which was beaten by the police service which Kenyans have traditionally had little faith in as far as fighting graft is concerned. Only Friday, the EACC released an explosive dossier on corruption in Parliament but did not mention names of suspects.

Ten per cent of Kenyans said they had a lot of confidence in the police. Twelve per cent said they had a lot of faith in the Judiciary while 11 per cent said they had a lot of faith in the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko.

Majority of Kenyans (47 per cent) think that the current Parliament is performing worse than the previous one, with corruption being its main undoing. Parliament has been dogged by corruption scandals. In April this year, the parliamentary committee on justice and legal affairs was disbanded following corruption allegations leveled against its members. Of all the scandals under the Jubilee regime, most Kenyans (79 per cent) said they were aware of the National Youth Service scandal followed by the Karen land scandal (21 per cent).

The NYS scandal forced the resignation of Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru. Several senior officials in the ministry, including former Devolution Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti, are facing corruption charges over the scandal.

Of Government officials mentioned in graft, an overwhelming majority of Kenyans, 76 per cent, were aware of Ms Waiguru followed by former Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu at 27 per cent. She was followed by Deputy President William Ruto (14 per cent) and his boss, President Kenyatta at five per cent.

However more and more Kenyans believe that corruption is posing a greater danger to the country than, say insecurity, which has long dominated the fears of most Kenyans.

Twenty five percent of Kenyans polled by Ipsos said that graft is the most serious problem facing Kenya today under the Jubilee government.

This is a steep rise from the four percent who thought graft was a serious problem facing the country in June 2013, just after Jubilee came to power and is a fourfold increase from the eight per cent of Kenyans of the same opinion last year.

The report also noted that more and more Kenyans are now of corruption scandals that they were before. The highest level of awareness is in Nairobi (85 per cent) and the lowest awareness levels was in North Eastern with 23 per cent.

Only 15 per cent said they consider Kenya as a full democracy, citing corruption as the main reason for saying so. Most Kenyans felt that the country should be classified as a “democracy with minor problems.”

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