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AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF CORRUPTION ON PUBLIC TRUST IN THE KENYA GOVERNMENT

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AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF CORRUPTION ON PUBLIC TRUST IN THE KENYA GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the study

Corruption in Kenya is a significant problem, both inside the country and globally, due to the widespread nature of the issue. It is evident that corruption is not confined to a small number of high-ranking officials. The prevalence of corruption has permeated society and become widespread (Abuya, 2017). According to Achuka (2022), based on the observations of Kenyans, it is believed that corruption is pervasive in Kenya, extending even to grandmothers. The pervasive presence of corruption in Kenya indicates a fundamental breakdown in the country's government. Institutions, originally established to govern the interactions between people and the government, are now being used by public officials (politicians and bureaucrats) and other corrupt private entities (individuals, organisations, and enterprises) for their own financial gain. Specifically, cunning bureaucrats and politicians have effectively been maximising their gains without considering the negative consequences on the overall resources, thus contributing to the expansion of corrupt practises and the especially detrimental effects that corruption has on the nation (Amadala, 2020). Corruption is a detrimental aspect of government. It is a hallmark of poor governance. The persistence of corruption in Kenya may be attributed to the presence of individuals in positions of authority who get personal advantages from it, along with the inadequate determination and capability of the current governance institutions to prevent such misconduct. Although Kenya has implemented various measures, including the establishment of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) in 2003, later reformed as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in 2011, the country is still categorised as one of the most corrupt nations globally (Biegon, 2018). Public confidence in institutions may be described as the way people see the performance of government institutions in relation to commonly held expectations [Neerup, Olwig, Bygbjerg & Norredam, 2016]. It emerges via the exchange of information and collaboration among those involved in the process, resulting in the creation of a collective benefit [Horodnic, Mazilu & Oprea, 2018]. Consequently, it is intrinsically connected to the assessment of public institutions by individuals and their effectiveness in representing their interests and including them in democratic procedures. According to Durrani (2018), corruption and public confidence in institutions have a reciprocal relationship: a lack of trust may contribute to corruption and undermine social cooperation, government legitimacy, and democracy. The empirical data from Durrani (2018) supports the notion that public mistrust leads to an increase in perceptions of corruption, as assessed by attitudes towards anticorruption policies. The presence of social capital, which refers to the interconnected networks of trust and cooperation among corrupt public officials and their allies, strengthens a detrimental cycle characterised by low levels of public trust. This cycle leads to an increased perception of corruption, insufficient governance, a rise in corrupt activities, and ultimately, hindered economic progress. Conversely, it is perfectly plausible that corruption might have a reverse causal effect, since it erodes faith in political institutions and government, resulting in widespread scepticism and hostility among the general people, and further impeding economic progress [Edwin, 2017].The relationship between confidence in government and corruption is established by a significant connection between views of corruption being socially accepted and the absence of legitimacy in legal systems and public institutions [Edwin, 2017]. If a person is unable to obtain adequate service from a governmental authority or organisation. Under such circumstances, individuals may be inclined to provide a bribe, a 'kickback,' or participate in other forms of corrupt conduct. This activity will be motivated by the notion that corruption is a pervasive and socially acceptable behaviour that will not be met with significant penalties or legal action. This is supported by behavioural research that examines descriptive norms on acts of corruption. Therefore,this work takes a governance and development perspective to analyze the impact of corruption on public trust in the Kenya government.

    1. Statement of the problem

Corruption is a pervasive issue worldwide, with varying degrees of prevalence in different nations. It was only recently that the international donor community acknowledged corruption as a significant factor contributing to the lack of progress in Africa's development (Maina, 2019). Corruption impedes economic progress and hampers the efficiency and stability of a democratic political system. The proceeds obtained from corrupt activities do not benefit the general population or contribute to intelligent investments. Instead, they are used for personal gain, particularly for importing extravagant commodities (Maina, 2019). During his state of the country speech in March 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya emphasised that corruption was the most urgent and important concern. Kenyatta says that corruption presents significant risks to national security. The source of this information is the Standard Newspaper from the year (2015). Moreover, corruption impedes government endeavours in combating poverty, leading to a limited number of individuals attaining riches, while the majority remain trapped in impoverished conditions. Angelo (2020) asserts that corruption impedes the elimination of poverty. He contends that corruption has several detrimental consequences, such as substandard services, an excessive burden on the citizens, hindrance to growth, and erosion of public faith in the government, which might impede national progress (Angelo, 2020). Hence, the need to look into the impact of corruption on public trust in the Kenya government.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to analyze the impact of corruption on public trust in the Kenya government. The specific objectives is as follows

  1. Examine the perceived factors that contributes to corruption in Kenya.

  2. Analyze the impact of corruption on public trust in Kenya

  3. Find out strategies that can be used to curb the menace of corruption in Kenya.

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

  1. What are the perceived factors that contributes to corruption in Kenya?

  2. What is the impact of corruption on public trust in Kenya?

  3. What are the strategies that can be used to curb the menace of corruption in Kenya.

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to financial crimes agency in Kenya as it will be exposed to the organizations lapses in arresting and prosecuting individuals who have been found to be corrupt, thereby leading to the citizens untrust for the government.

The findings of the study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on the impact of corruption on public trust in the Kenya government. Hence, the study will examine the perceived factors that contributes to corruption in Kenya, analyze the impact of corrupton on public trust in Kenya and find out strategies that can be used to curb the menance of corruption in Kenya.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Corruption: dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

Public trust: requiring you to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.


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  • Methodology: Yes available


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