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AN ASSESSMENT OF CORRUPTION ISSUES IN KENYA

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AN ASSESSMENT OF CORRUPTION ISSUES IN KENYA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Worldwide, corruption is an issue, but it affects some nations more than others. The international donor community did not acknowledge corruption as a major factor in Africa's development failure until a few years ago (Médard 2019). However, corruption hinders economic development and it slows down the democratic process and stability in a political system.

Kenya, once regarded as one of the most stable nations in Africa after gaining independence in 1963, witnessed political turbulence in 2017, revealing the fragility of its state. The period following independence, led by Presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi under the Kenya African National Union (KANU), was marked by an increasingly corrupt one-party authoritarian rule. This regime was characterized by a centralized state with a dominant executive and a patronage network favoring ethnically defined elites. The government engaged in systematic looting of state assets, economic mismanagement, and occasional violent suppression of opposition, creating an environment of authoritarian rule (IDASA country profile; Lansner, T, 2016).

In the 1990s, Kenya underwent a transition towards a functional but weak multi-party democracy. It was not until 2002 that the opposition party, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), managed to win elections against Moi's rule. Mwai Kibaki, a former top KANU leader, became president, promising to tackle corruption and impunity in the country. Despite initial optimism, Kibaki's government faced several corruption scandals within two years of coming to power. The Anglo-Leasing scandal, a prominent blow to the regime's anticorruption commitment, led to periodic aid suspensions from donors. The failure to effectively respond to these challenges resulted in the resignation of John Githongo, Kibaki's advisor on Anti-Corruption and Good Governance, in 2005 (The Independent, 2017).

The optimism for change was further dampened as Githongo revealed a report exposing multi-million pound government contracts awarded to phantom companies. Over time, political dynamics shifted, and President Kibaki formed a close alliance with his predecessor, Daniel Arap Moi. In the 2007 presidential elections, Moi officially backed Kibaki's candidacy, reflecting a complex and intertwined political landscape that raised questions about the commitment to anti-corruption efforts in Kenya (The Independent, 2017).

Conceptually, However, the World Bank and Transparency International (TI) define corruption as “the misuse of public office for private gains”. This involves improper and unlawful behavior of public officials (that is, politicians and public servants) whose positions create opportunity for diversion of public resources and especially, abuse of trust, great power and hopes entrusted on them by serving corrupt or selfish interests once they are in power (TI, 2004; Bhargava, 2005).

Corruption manifests itself through various forms, including petty and grand corruption, embezzlement of public funds, and a system of political patronage well entrenched within the fabrics of society. Petty and bureaucratic corruption Although some progress has been made by the government in the past to attract foreign investments, inefficient and complex government regulations continue to provide both incentives and opportunities for corruption. According to the World Bank and IFC enterprise survey 2007, close to 80 % of the firms surveyed reported being expected to make informal payment to get things done and circumvent burdensome bureaucratic requirements, making it almost impossible for businesses to operate without facilitation payments.

The money gained out of corruption does not trickle down to the people nor is it used to make smart investments, instead is it used for private gain to import luxurious goods (Thelander 2019). Corruption in Africa can be seen as both systemic and generalized, systemic since it is more a rule than an exception and generalized since it is not limited to just one sector. Jean-François Médard speaks of it as a “culture of corruption” in Africa (Médard 2019). According to Alan Doig and Robin Theobald countries that have a high level of petty corruption show a very low level of trust for the public sector which makes it hard to unite the society. It also affects the poorest in the society when they have to pay for a service which is supposed to be free (Doig & Theobald 2016, Compare Thelander 2015). Corruption is seen by the broad mass, as something negative and not wanted and it should be fought against (Thelander, 2015). Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess corruption issues in Kenya.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Corruption in Kenya has become an endemic problem and is now regarded as a serious cancer in the public sector as well as a security threat in the country. The manace has permeated different sectors of the economy in the country. However, in countries where corruption pervades governments and legal systems, law enforcement, legal reform and the fair administration of justice are impeded by corrupt politicians, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, police officers, investigators and auditors.

Beyond that, it impacts on the ability of the country to protect and fulfil its human rights obligations and to deliver relevant services, including a functioning judiciary, law enforcement, health, education, and social services. Additionally, corruption in the rule of law system weakens the very accountability structures which are responsible for protecting human rights and contributes to a culture of impunity.Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess corruption issues in Kenya.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is on an assessment of corruption issues in Kenya. Specifically, the study will;

  1. Ascertain the prevalence of corruption in Kenya.

  2. Assess the underlying factors associated with corruption in Kenya.

  3. Ascertain the corrupt practices prevalent in Kenya.

  4. Investigate the implications of corruption in Kenya.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. What is the extent of corruption prevalence in Kenya?

  2. What factors underlie and contribute to corruption in Kenya?

  3. What corrupt practices are commonly observed in Kenya?

  4. What are the implications of corruption in Kenya, and how does it impact various sectors of society?

1.5 Significant of the Study

An assessment of corruption issues in Kenya will be revealed to the government at various levels, politicians, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, police officers, investigators and auditors. It will additionally enlighten the Kenya government on prioritizing regional and international collaboration with corruption fighting institutions. Furthermore, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to an assessment of corruption issues in Kenya.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on an assessment of corruption issues in Kenya. Theoretically, this study will discuss ascertain the prevalence of corruption in Kenya, assess the underlying factors associated with corruption, ascertain the corrupt practices prevalent in Kenya and investigate the implications of corruption in Kenya.

Geographically, the study will be delimited residents of Kenya.

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Corruption: this referred to “the misuse of public office for private gains”. In Kenya, corruption is an offence under any of the provisions of sections 39 to 44, 46 and 47 of the Economic and Anti-Corruption Act, 2003 and includes bribery, fraud, embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office, breach of trust and an offence involving dishonesty (Economic and Anti-Corruption Act, 2003)


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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