News / Africa

Report Finds Endemic Corruption in Burundi, Uganda and Kenya

Kenyan Police second most corrupt institution in east Africa, falling just behind Burundi, says Transparency International survey

Michael Onyiego

Kenyan institutions are still among the most corrupt in East Africa, but the country is no longer in top place among five countries surveyed by Transparency International, a group that monitors corruption around the world.

The Transparency International survey says the Kenyan Police are the second most corrupt institution in east Africa, falling just behind the police forces of Burundi, the most corrupt country in East Africa, according to the East African Bribery Index 2010. The annual survey developed by Berlin-based Transparency International measures bribery levels in the private and public sectors in the region.

The latest ranking, released Thursday in Nairobi, shows Kenya has registered a slight improvement in the prevalence of corruption overall, dropping from first to third place behind Burundi and Uganda.

Nevertheless, the survey lists Kenya's Ministry of Defense, the Nairobi City Council and the country's judiciary among the top 10 most corrupt institutions in the region.

The study praised Kenya for enacting legislation, such as the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and the Public Officers' Ethics Act, to fight corruption, but found that the country had made relatively little progress in eliminating bribery from daily life.

Kenya has a long history of corruption in the public sector. In the early 1990s, many prominent politicians, including then President Daniel Moi, were implicated in the Goldenberg Scandal, in which the Kenyan government paid over $600 million for non-existent gold and diamond exports.

In 2009, stores of maize from the country's strategic grain reserve were sold to local millers in order to combat rising prices and low supply. Much of the grain, meant for Kenyan markets,  was then sold outside the country to avoid local price controls.

The East African Bribery Index found that in Burundi and Uganda, citizens pay bribes in around one-third of their public sector interactions.

The deputy executive director of Transparency International-Kenya, Lisa Karanja, told reporters that corruption could do real damage to the newly integrating East African Community.

"Exactly three weeks ago, the protocol came into effect amidst excitement and high expectations among the citizens of the East African Community," says Karanja. "Corruption threatens to hold back the attainment of the objectives set out by member states. The release of the bribery index is not an occasion for empty activism, but an opportunity to identify loopholes in public institutions that provide fertile ground for corruption and other malpractices."

The Common Market Protocol of the East African Community, which took effect on July 1st, allows citizens of the East Africa Community to live, work and travel freely within the region. The Community hopes to tap into combined economic potential of member states Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Though the East African bribery index paints a negative picture of the prospects for a smooth integration, not all of the countries scored poorly.

The report found bribery and corruption in Rwanda to be extremely low. Only 1.7 percent of more than 4,000 respondents were faced with bribery, and less than one percent actually paid, a figure which the report called "negligible."

According to Transparency International-Kenya, a comparative study of Rwanda's public sector could provide a detailed path to the elimination of corruption in the region.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs