Nairobi — Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has dismissed a survey by Ipsos that ranked her second in a national corruption perception index released on Wednesday.
Reacting to the opinion poll, Waiguru said anyone with evidence that she is corrupt should present it before State agencies tasked with the mandate of probing graft.
"I think they're advancing a political agenda; there can be nothing other than that. If they have any evidence let them take it to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations or the Director of Public Prosecutions so that action can be taken!" she remarked while inspecting a development project in her county.
"I will say to Ipsos shame on you for pushing a political agenda! I have never been taken to court on corruption, instead I sued Raila Odinga for defaming me on corruption," she added.
Waiguru was ranked second at 31 per cent, in the survey that placed Deputy President William Ruto top at 33 per cent. Former President Daniel arap Moi was ranked third at 17 per cent.
DP Ruto's aides could not be reached for a comment.
The Ipsos-funded poll however showed a rigid dichotomy between values held by respondents and their choice of leaders despite 87 per cent expressing reservations with the ability of corrupt individuals to provide good leadership.
"Most Kenyans consider that corrupt people cannot be good leaders yet most public figures associated currently or incorrectly with corruption scandals are elected officials with many achieving electoral success even after their names were linked to corruption," Tom Wolf, senior research analyst at Ipsos noted.
"Perhaps this reflects one reality of democracy - that at least where elections are free and fair, the voting public gets the leaders they deserve," he observed.
According to the study conducted in 45 counties between July 25 and August 2, eleven per cent of 2,016 respondents perceived President Uhuru Kenyatta as corrupt.
Former President Mwai Kibaki, Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga, and ex-Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero also featured in the corruption perception index at five per cent each.
Odinga's running mate in last year's presidential election, Kalonzo Musyoka, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and his Busia counterpart Sospeter Ojaamong' completed the top 10 list with a percentage point each.
According to the study, public awareness on corruption had risen significantly to stand at 81 per cent compared to 65 per cent before the 2017 presidential election.
Wolf however noted a disconnect between the top three reasons why some leaders were being seen as corrupt with most of the leaders perceived as most corrupt having no direct link to scandals listed as the most prominent.
"You can find at the top Governor Waiguru when we know she had nothing to do with a scandal that occurred since the 2017 election like we had asked the sample population," he said.
The loss of Sh468 million at the National Youth Service was listed as the topmost corruption saga at 66 per cent with the over Sh750 million scandal at the Kenya Power Company coming in second at 27 per cent.
The importation of contraband sugar which is at the centre of corruption allegations in Parliament occupied the third place in the list with 18 per cent of respondents singling it out.
Other scandals listed by the respondents were maize importation under a duty-free window, 15 per cent, Sh2 billion National Cereals and Produce Board scam, 12 per cent, and the Sh3.2 billion Ruaraka school land scam involving businessman Francis Mburu at 12 per cent.
The study with a +/- 2.16 per cent sampling error with 95 degree of confidence also listed Kenya Power Company and Standard Gauge Railway as major cases of graft since the re-election of President Kenyatta at six and five per cent respectively.
Asked if anyone involved in corruption will be convicted, only 73 per cent of 42 per cent of respondents who had listed various leaders as corrupt gave a positive response with 17 per cent saying they did not believe the leaders would be convicted.
Slightly more than half the 2,016 respondents, 51 per cent, said President Kenyatta was sincere in the ongoing war against corruption against 35 per cent. Fourteen per cent of the respondents said they were not sure.
Twenty-one per cent of the respondents said they were certain President Kenyatta will win the war against corruption with 31 per cent of the respondents saying "he was likely" to win the war.
Generally, a majority of the respondents, 59 per cent, were not satisfied with the direction the country was headed with only 28 per cent saying the nation was headed the right direction.
Cost of living, leadership, and corruption were cited as key reasons by those who thought the nation was headed the wrong way at 30, 22, and 16 per cent.