Eliminating Corruption in Kenya

Corruption is one of the critical challenges facing various countries across the globe. In most cases, individuals mandated to oversee public coffers have used their position to acquire such money for personal use. Kenya, a country that has enjoyed freedom and self-governance for over 60 years is regarded as one of the most corrupt nations due to the numerous unsolved corruption scandals that have resulted in the loss of billions of shillings. For instance, in 2018, Kenya lost more than KSh.13 billion to illegal tendering processes (Obura, 2018). The scandal affected key government departments such as the Ministry of Lands, the National Youth Service, National Cereals and Produce Board, and the Kenya Pipeline Company.Ending corruption in Kenya can be achieved in four ways: enhanced international relations, empowering citizens, close monitoring of local banks, and promoting transparency and access to information.

Improving the cooperation between Kenya and other European nations is one of the technique that the Kenya Government can implement to eradicate corruption. Such corruption would seal the loopholes utilized by civil servants to stash public money into their offshore accounts. According to Herbling (2016), Kenya loses over Ksh. 500 billion, which is equivalent to a tenth of its gross domestic product to corruption; the stolen funds are majorly hidden in offshore accounts. Therefore, enhanced cooperation with European nations would prohibit corrupt public servants from laundering stolen money through offshore accounts.

Citizen empowerment is another option that the Kenya Government can explore in the fight against corruption. Citizen empowerment involves consulting and engaging citizens in government operations. Through such actions, citizens can hold civil servants accountable, which promotes mutual trust and understanding. Furthermore, such cooperation can enable citizens to detect any form of corruption such as the misuse of funds. Therefore, engaging citizens in governance at both county and national levels promotes transparency and accountability.

Local banks play a critical role in governance at both county and national level. For instance, each county has a bank account operated by the office of the governor, which the county use to receive county taxes and development funds from the national government. However, some individuals who are mandated to oversee the usage of such funds have taken advantage of their positions for personal gains. For example, in the case of National Youth Service (NYS) scandal, five local banks- Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Standard Chartered, Diamond Trust Bank, Equity Group, and KCB Group were fined Ksh. 392 million for the violations the financial transaction regulations through illegal transfer of NYS funds (Kangethe, 2018). The government can eliminate such violations by closely monitoring the operations of local banks through the Central Bank of Kenya.

Transparency in government dealings is another way to achieve a corruption-free state. Kenya government in cooperation with county government should establish an online platform where citizens can access and monitor any ongoing projects. Furthermore, these platforms should also support applications for government contracts to avoid illegal tendering that has led to the loss of billions. The government should promote freedom of the press, which would enable Kenyans to access relevant information that can help them put governing bodies in check.

Ending corruption in Kenya is still an uphill task as evident in the recent corruption scandals that have resulted in the loss of taxpayers’ money. For the Kenya government to get hold of the problem, it is essential to promote international relations, empower citizens, closely monitor the operations of local banks, and promote transparency in government dealings.

 

References

Herbling, D.(2016, February 11). Civil servants denied permission to open foreign bank

accounts. Business Daily Africa. Retrieved from https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/Civil-servants-denied-foreign-accounts/539546-3071252-15ta7qm/index.html.

Kangethe, K. (2018, September 12). CBK fines five banks Sh392m for violating rules in NYS

scandal. Capital FM. Retrieved from https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/business/2018/09/cbk-fines-five-banks-sh392m-for-violating-rules-in-nys-scandal/

Obura, F. (2018, December 25). Mega scandals hit Kenya hard in 2018- NYS. Standard Digital.

Retrieved from https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001307344/2018-the-year-of-big-eating-nys-scandal.

 

 
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