In Kenya corruption is a big problem that exists everywhere around the country, almost every county in Kenya is facing serious corruption allegations making it hard for development to take place .Corruption hinders economic development and it slows down the democratic process and stability in a political system. The painful truth is that the money gained out of corruption does not trickle down to the people nor is it used to make smart investments for the best of the people, instead it is used for private gain to import luxurious goods.
Kenya is among the most corrupt countries in the world.This is not a surprise because Kenya has been plagued by a long list of corruption scandals. One of the more biggest scandals is the Goldenberg heist which occurred in the 1990s during then President Daniel Moi’s tenure. The government was found to have subsidized exports of gold far beyond standard arrangements by paying a company called Goldenberg International 35% more in Kenyan shillings than their foreign currency earnings.
In the year 2014 millions of dollars were misappropriated from funds that were secured by the government through Eurobond, which is an international loan that was secured from foreign investors. A second Eurobond was secured in 2018 and questions have been raised here as well but none has been addressed appropriately. 3The looting of public funds is commonly reported in recent times and the amounts involved are growing day in day out. During the months of May and June 2018, reports about grand corruption have dominated Kenyan news. This hemorrhaging of public funds will do enormous damage to the country’s already struggling economy.Look at National Youth Service (NYS) as an example of a public organization where corruption is believed to be rife. In 2015, approximately USD$17 million was stolen from its coffers by a network of companies that supplied goods and service at inflated prices.And this year billions of shillings earmarked for the service were embezzled by a shadowy network of dubious service providers. Just recently Kenyan were shocked after it was revealed how funds for the construction of Kimarer dams. Out of this latest scandal many desperate Kenyans like Rev. Timothy Njoya have called for introduction of death penalty to punish persons convicted of corruption. No doubt severe punishment might be of great help to scare off the looters but the punishment might never see the end of the day coz corruption is highly committed by the saw called law makers and they can never let such penalties to see the end of the day. In other words, the problem of corruption is deeper than most people realize and such superficial steps of imposing severer punishments may not produce miracles. In fact, the implementation of the death sentence might be another avenue to promote corruption because those found with such cases may decide to bribe their way out. 4Companies face a moderate risk of corruption when dealing with Kenya’s judicial sector. Companies report bribes and irregular payments in return for favorable decisions are common. A third of Kenyans view the judiciary as corrupt. The judiciary is established as an independent body by the constitution, and largely demonstrates independence and impartiality in practice, yet is undermined by allegations of corruption.Corruption is rampant within Kenyan police officers. The Kenya Police Service Commission (KPSC) is ranked as the most corrupt body in the country, and for one to access the police services well its only by bribing them. Many Kenyans are witnesses to this fact and they even confess that most of the police officers are so corrupt meaning they are all victims of giving the bribery. Kenya police Officers engage in false imprisonment and fabrication of charges to extort bribes from innocent Kenyans. The biggest worry is that those Corrupt police officers are rarely prosecuted for corruption offences. Companies report the business costs of crime in Kenya to be high and reliability of the police is poor meaning they are part of the crimes committed.In December 2016, The Kenya Police Service Commission (KPSC) a total of 127 traffic police officers were fired after a clear evidence of large suspicious money transfers between them was found and they couldn’t account for it. (Kenyans, Dec. 2016).The competitiveness of Kenya’s business market is restrained by rampant public-service corruption. Complying with administrative requirements takes a lot of time, Registration and licensing board services are harshly affected by bribery crimes, making starting a business very costly and hard. 5One in every 6 companies is expected to make informal payments to get an operating license, and every third company must bribe their way to get a construction permit. Other business experience the same and bribery day in day out thus hindering the business market from growing. Corruption can only paralyze a country’s economy. There is a very high risk of corruption in the Kenya Lands Commission. Kenyans report a high likelihood of bribery demands in meetings with land service officials, and corrupt practices reportedly occur in almost 20% of all interactions. Companies should be aware that possession of a land title does not guarantee property ownership, making land-grabbing and seizures by powerful elite common as a result of pervasive corruption and impunity. Fake land title deeds are frequently used and disappearances of title deeds from the Registrar’s office are common houses built on illegally acquired property are often demolished without prior notice.Companies face a high risk of corruption in Kenya’s customs administration. Rampant corruption is also reported in the Kenya Ports Authority and border points especially for international trade, followed by tariffs and burdensome import procedures. Companies report that irregular payments and bribes are common. The lack of transparency in the customs administration has serious consequences for security in Kenya. Compliance procedures at the Border compliance take longer than the regional average due to those bribery transactions. 6As I said earlier, corruption has no boundaries in Kenya because even in churches it exists. It is so heartbreaking to hear that Al-Shabaab militia bribes border officials to enter the country easily to organize terrorist attacks that in return fuel the costs of business and religion ethinicity. It is also alleged that Kenya Army Forces are involved in a sugar-smuggling racket with the Islamist group Al-Shabaab, worth USD 400 million a year (The Economist, Nov. 2015). Mombasa Port has been named as a major hub in the illicit ivory trade; corruption and weak scanning abilities facilitate the trade.Kenya Power, the national electricity company, stands accused of a fraudulent tender which was handed a Chinese company which was 11 months old contrary to the procurement acts which states that a company must be in existence for more than 18 months thus raising suspicion about the transaction (Standard Digital, Dec. 2016). Furthermore, the price of the contract was KES 1.2 billion higher than the bid of the lowest bidder rule so the whole process was a fraud and unprocedural (Daily Nation, Mar. 2017).The country’s top powerful politicians are facing corruption charges from Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and from Swiss authorities where they hide their loot instead of using that money to invest in our own country. Former senior government officials have been linked to extensive bribery schemes involving a number of inflated state contracts worth USD 700 million that were awarded to phantom vendors. As a result, a number of necessary infrastructure projects were not delivered (Guardian, Mar. 2015). 7What pains me most and I know it also pains my fellow Kenyans is the fact that no one has ever been send to jail or prosecuted for bribery crimes meaning they also bribe their way out. Kenya has become a man eat man society. The fallout of the scandal is continuing; Swiss prosecutors are trying to recover funds stashed away in Swiss bank accounts by Kenyan politicians (The Star, Apr. 2017).High levels of corruption threaten Kenya’s natural resources. Six senior officials from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) were suspended due to alleged corruption and neglect of duty that contributed to pervasive poaching. Despite the government’s efforts to curb corruption in the KWS, conviction rates for corrupt officials and wildlife offenders are very low (Save the Rhino, May 2014). Extensive deforestation and forest degradation in Kenya are direct results of extensive corruption by forest management officials. It is alleged that some members of Kenya Forest Service collude with loggers in kickback schemes.It is worth noting that corruption in Kenya has permeated into every sector and if not addressed firmly and dealt with, then Kenya may never realize her vision 2030 in which the current government has singled out the 4 big agenda. The vision 2030 may live to be a dream.