Kenya: Interior, Health Ministries the Most Corrupt - EACC Survey

19 November 2019

The Interior ministry has retained its position as the most corrupt government entity, according to a 2018 survey by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The survey report that the commission launched on Tuesday said super Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i's ministry has a corruption perception index of 47.5 percent.

It was followed by Health (17.9 per cent) and Agriculture at 13.8 percent.

INCIDENCES

The EACC reported, however, that incidences of graft in the ministry declined by 17.9 percent over the last one year, from 64.7 percent in 2017.

The Health ministry, headed by Ms Sicily Kariuki, assumed a similar trend, from 27.8 percent in 2017 to 17.9 percent.

But the Agriculture docket, which is in the hands of Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri, slid further into corruption taking the third place in the survey conducted in December 2018.

The Lands ministry also registered a significant drop in incidences of corruption, from 23.9 per cent in 2017 to 11.0 percent in 2018.

The other ministries listed among the 10 most corrupt were Transport (10.4 percent), Education (6.8 percent), Devolution (6.1 percent), Defence (4.5 percent), the National Treasury (4.2 percent) and Energy (3.8 per cent).

At the bottom of the list were the Environment, Petroleum and Mining, Tourism and Wildlife ministries, all at 0.3 per cent, and the ICT and Industrialisation ministries at 0.1 per cent.

TRIALS

Speaking at their Integrity House headquarters in Nairobi, where the report was released, EACC Chairman Eliud Wabukala said the data would strengthen Kenya's anti-corruption strategy.

Mr Wabukala challenged parliamentarians to tighten the laws and take other measures to heighten the war against corruption.

In particular, the commission wants Parliament to amend the laws for timeliness in trials.

"We need to expedite the hearing and disposal of anti-corruption cases. We need timelines so that cases do not go on until witnesses die," he said.

The commission also wants a provision in law mandating State officers to step aside when under investigation or when charged with graft.

It also wants a provision for its unrestricted access to wealth declaration reports, such as lifestyle audits, by State officers for purposes of investigations, as well as a clear provision in law allowing it to effectively manage seized, forfeited or confiscated assets.

OTHER AGENCIES

On government departments and agencies, one is most likely to encounter corruption and unethical practices at the Kenya Police (39.6 per cent), Kenya Power (12.9 per cent) , National Hospital Insurance Fund (11.1 per cent) and the National Youth Service (9.5 per cent).

One is also most likely to be asked for a bribe at the courts (8.6 per cent), National Land Commission (8.1 per cent) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (6.8 per cent).

The survey further found that bribery demands remained the highest in Wajir County, for the third year running.

The respondents were drawn from 5,942 homes in all the 47 counties and the research conducted between November 16 and December 19, 2018.

Ten key informants were also involved and in identifying the representative sample, the exercise relied on the fifth national sample survey and evaluation programme developed and maintained by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

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