EACC Exposes Rampant Corruption in Ministries, Agencies, and Counties Across Kenya

EACC

A recent report from the anti-corruption agency has uncovered that job applicants are being compelled to pay up to Sh163,260 in bribes in order to secure employment opportunities.

Those seeking passports give out up to Sh74,428 while those requiring a police abstract are forced to part with as much as Sh20,300, reveals the new report, compiled by the Ethics and anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The report, detailing how deep rooted the vice is, reveals that the average bribe paid by ordinary Kenyans for services whether at government ministries, county governments or other State agencies has gone up, from Sh6,865 in 2022 to Sh11,625 last year.

The report conducted by the anti-graft agency in 5,100 households in 47 counties showed that other services that Kenyans paid for include obtaining a tender at Sh17,000, solving land conflict Sh12,673, for power connection at Sh12,006, while bailing out arrested people at Sh11,056.

Releasing the report yesterday, EACC chairperson David Oginde said the Commission conducts the National Ethics and Corruption Survey annually to provide corruption indicators, offering insights into trends, patterns, root causes and changing nature of corruption.

“The high percentage of Kenyans willing to participate in corruption tells us we are ‘sick’,” Oginde said at EACC headquarters.

On average, the report shows, service seekers paid the largest amount of bribe at the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) amounting to Sh81,801 then the Judiciary at Sh49,611 and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) at Sh40,000.

Most prone

In counties, on average, respondents paid the largest amount of bribe in West Pokot amounting to Sh56,695, Nairobi at Sh37,768 followed by Murang’a with Sh8,378, then Kisii with Sh6,810 and Uasin Gishu with Sh11,136 counties.

One is most likely to encounter graft and unethical practices in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government (47.1 per cent), followed by the Ministry of Health (13.2 per cent), Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works at 5.8 per cent then Education at 5.5 per cent.

Government Departments and Agencies perceived to be most prone to corruption were police at 55.4 per cent, Immigration Department (4.4 per cent) and Registrar of Persons (4 per cent).

County Health Services at 39.1 per cent, County Transport at 11.9 per cent and Trade Development and Regulation 10 per cent were perceived to be the most corrupt county government departments.

The report also shows that the largest share of national bribe was paid for passport application at 35.8 per cent, followed by seeking employment at 22.1 per cent, seeking a police abstract at 11.5 per cent and bailing of arrested individuals at 10.3 per cent.

The institutions that received the largest share of national bribes were NTSA at 33.6 per cent and police at 20.7 per cent.

Quick services

Nairobi was the county with the largest share of national bribes paid at 54.4 per cent, West Pokot at 13.87 per cent and Uasin Gishu with 3.7 per cent.

Majority of respondents at 57.3 per cent, perceived the corruption level to be high in the country.

The main reason given by 24.7 per cent of the respondents is the high cost of living followed by corruption being rampant in many public offices at 16.7 per cent, more corruption incidences being reported in many public offices at 16.5 per cent while 8.1 per cent said bad governance.

Most of the respondents (44.7 per cent) said the prevalence of corruption was increasing though 37.9 per cent were optimistic that the level will decrease in the next one year compared to 29 per cent who thought it will increase.

The respondents also said greed at 42.8 per cent, desire for quick services at 5.4 per cent, poverty 4.9 per cent and culture 3.4 per cent were the major causes of graft in public service.

Creation of employment opportunities at 49 per cent, eradication of poverty (47.2 per cent) and public education and awareness (44.4 per cent) were rated as the most effective measures in fighting graft.

The government was rated good in managing education services (29.9 per cent ), agricultural services (25.5 per cent) and implementation of national government policies on natural resources and environmental conservation (25 per cent).

Police services

The EACC report has also shown that about 74 per cent of respondents said they were aware about what constitutes unethical practices, while 28.3 per cent had witnessed unethical practices by a public officer in the past one year.

“The most prevalent forms of unethical practices witnessed were bribery (44 per cent), delay in service provision (16.2 per cent) and abuse of office (6.6 per cent),” the report states.

It also showed that there is a likelihood that each time one seeks police services, a service seeker is likely to be asked for a bribe 1.41 times. To bail an arrested person, one is likely to be asked to pay a bribe 1.28 times and to report a crime or write a statement, a service seeker is likely to be asked for a bribe 1.1 times.

“There is a likelihood that each time a service is sought in the traffic police one is likely to be asked for a bribe 1.45 times, County Health Department 1.05 times and in the Police 1.02 times,” the EACC report states.

Each time a service is sought in Busia, one is likely to be asked for a bribe 2.02 times followed by Baringo (1.34 times), Nairobi (1.12 times), Nakuru (1.11 times) and Machakos (1.09 times).

“Each time a service seeker sought for registration of business, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) number, relief food or water, a tender, registration or transfer of vehicle, building or construction certificate, educational services, driving license, CDF funds, agricultural extension services and transfer of a pupil from one school to another, a bribe was paid,” the report states.

County Health department, NTSA, County Commissioner’s Office, Public Service Commission (PSC) and County public service boards are the public institutions where bribery is most prevalent, with all respondents who sought services in these institutions paying a bribe.

Nyamira, Baringo, Siaya, Bungoma and Turkana were the counties where bribery is most prevalent with all respondents who sought services in these counties paying a bribe.

“Each time a service seeker paid a bribe while applying for TSC number, seeking relief food or water, registering or transferring a vehicle and collecting a construction certificate, they were more likely to receive the service than if they did not pay,” the report states.

Oginde said the Commission will launch a rapid response initiative to help agencies to mitigate corruption practices.

“Let us change the narrative by focusing on the good, refusing to be bribed and also ask professional bodies to rise up and deal with their members,” he said.

Data collection was conducted from October 13 to November 4 last year.

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