The culture of corruption has taken root in Kenya at an immense level that it has seemingly become endemic. The institutions that had the responsibility of guarding the relationship between the citizens tend the states have now turned and become the conduit for looting public resources. The prevalence of corruption in the country arises from the fact that there are corrupt individuals within the government that benefit from corruption, in addition, the institutions that should be able to deal with this problems do not have the will in addition to the capacity to deal with the problem. The focus of this paper is to examine the challenge of corruption the reasons for the prevalence of the problem and how the county can be able to deal with the challenge. The paper discusses the challenge of corruption in the country the level that it has penetrated society and how the community can probably deal with the issue.
In the cases of the persistence and the prevalence of corruption, like it is in Kenya, one thing that seems clear is that there are clear cases of governance structures falling apart. The level of corruption in Kenya has systemic and goes beyond the individuals to the structural and institutional levels. The biggest problem that the country is experiencing is that there are no strong democratic institutions and this has motivated impunity, violence and the lack of respect for the rule of law (Bellaubi, & Pahl-Wostl, 2017). The current situation has perpetuated a culture was leaders are no longer focused on development but rather on looting and making them rich. Actual economic growth in a country can only be realized when the governments are responsible enough and reject corruption and enforce the rule of law. Kenya seems to be wallowing in this problem.
Therefore, one the reasons that are leading to corruption in the country is that the institutions that should deal with corruption are undermined to the level that they can no longer carry out their responsibility. The undermining of the institutions has been systemically applied as Kenya’s institution that was not within the executive were weakened in favor of those personalized presidential powers and the centralized presidency. Therefore, these institutions were not funded or given the required authorities to carry out their responsibility. Most of these institutions were only the puppet of the authorities, and they just acted according to the whims of those in power. Newenham-Kahindi, & Stevens (2018) mentions that the atmospheres of impunity, inefficiency and low morally are the significant contributors to the proliferation of corruption in the country. The result in addition to the impact is that the state has bankrolled into lack of ethics and the lack of public accountancy. Accountability is the idea of making the people that are in public offices to account for the actions that they take. It is also a central theme in good governance. However, in Kenya, these aspects seem to be devoid of public institutions and the holders of those offices. These seem to be the significant drivers of corruption in the country.
The other reason that seems to be the primary cause of the issue of corruption is the centralized system of the presidency that was prevalent under the Moi regime. The excessive of the power of the state gave room for the various forms of neopatrimonialism that provided the grounds for the emergence and the prevalence of corruption in the country. Several types of research have pointed out that during the era of Moi the exercises of power was majorly focused on developing an ethnically defined class that ensured it is enriched. Besides, during this period economic mismanagement, destruction of national resources and corruption were the order of the day (Miller, 2018). One who had the control of power was effectively the one that had the control of the entire public wealth. It is through this form of control that people were in power was able to embezzle resources from the public, and no one would question them. The simple reason that they had control of the state gave them the chance to regulate all the authorities that could have clipped their power. Therefore, corruption found root in almost every authority of government.
Apart from the issue of a personalized presidency, there are still other issues that have led to penetration of corruption in the county. One of these factors is the high levels of bribery. Bribery has become an issue in almost every government institution. Ranging from the simple service of getting, a drivers license, tax administration, national identity card to even getting contracts in government parastatals corruption has become a pandemic. While these services are supposed to be offered freely by the government in most cases, they involve several bureaucratic procedures and thus one is forced to part with a bribe to get these services (Shacklock & Galtung, 2016). In other words, bribery can be termed as illegal means used by state officials to get income. The culture of curation has permeated in Kenya and other African counties because the individual that are in public offices have the belief that they have to take some illegal payments to deliver some services. The level of corruption has permeated in the country that it has now become generally for one to carry some money when they are getting into a public office. It has become the order of the day to use some money to “incentivize” a public officer to give one some special consideration. The challenge is that the ones that do not have the extra money will always miss out while the ones that have the extra money to spend will be the ones that will get the first consideration for any services. In recent years, this practice seems even to be taking root in the private sector. People are no longer focused on just giving values to the customer unless they get some incentive.
In research that has been conducted about the cases of bribery in the country shows that about 30 to 56 percent of individuals have encountered instances of corruption. The study was carried out between 2008 and the year 2012 (Shacklock & Galtung, 2016). The number of bribes was estimated at about 1000 shillings. Most of the people that gave kickbacks did it when they sought to get services from public offices. The institutions that were at the top of the cases of corruption include the Kenya police. About 60 to 93 percent of Kenyans are likely to encounter a police officer that might demand a bribe from them (Shacklock & Galtung, 2016). In the event they fail to offer these bribes will result in them being denied access to some services. On the other hand, giving these fines would have a direct financial impact and some additional tax burden.
Besides, further studies show that the private sector also seems to be falling into the trap of bribery. About seventy-five percent of firms in the country have reported that they have had to part with some informal or illegal payment to have some of their issues dealt with. The report estimates that these firms are often forced to lose about 4% of their annual income to corruption (Shacklock & Galtung, 2016). Besides, these firms are often forced to pay some bribes to the tax inspectors. Therefore the problem does not only seem to affect the private business but a challenge to the government as a whole. The tax inspectors would often part with some small bribes and give a firm a clean bill of health even when they have not complied with the task. Besides, the tax inspectors would often require a gift from the frim even in the cases where the firm has met with the taxes. Therefore, the government would often have to lose a lot on the taxes.
The other aspect that has led to the growth of corruption in the country is the various bureaucracies. These bureaucracies have created an excellent opportunity for the proliferation of corruption in the country. For example, in the defunct County Council of Nairobi, research showed that there were about 4000 cases of ghost workers. The study was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The number of ghost workers accounted for about 35 percent of the 12,000 workforces. Besides, the report showed that there was about 45 individual that had fake certificates. In a further analysis of the issue, it emerged that the town clerk had created the problem. He was running a parallel list of employees to him he received the salaries. These cases show the veracity of corruption and the length that most of the people in power are ready to go to siphon public resources (Bellaubi & Pahl-Wostl, 2017). Such cases of corruption and wastage of resources would often affect the delivery of services, since the people that are supposed to ensure service delivery are not there, yet they are being paid.
The consequences of corruption
One of the impacts of crime is that it leads to the reduced availability of funds for development related activities. From a report presented to the parliament by the permanent secretary in the ministry in the year 2010, about 270 billion of Kenyans funds are wasted every year as a result of corruption. Just in recent months, the country has witnessed some of the most significant cases of corruption. In the recent examples of the construction of dams in Aror and Kimwarer the government is estimated to have lost about 21bilion shillings. This is the money that could have helped to deal with cases of unemployment and ensure individuals within these communities can alleviate their living standards. The funds that are lost through corruption could help in
The impact of corruption and bad governance in the country does not only impact on the availability of funds for development, but it also has a direct effect on the development of assistant partnerships. Some of the major development partners and donor of the Kenyan government are the US and the UK. However, due to the increasing levels of corruption, these countries have been scolding, withholding or total withholding they’re financial on vital services in the country (Ekici et al. 2016). Such an approach is detrimental to the development and sustaining of an effective development partnership was accountability is of paramount importance. Currently, the level of corruption in the Kenyan public sector has reached the level where there is lack of confidence in the government, and thus the development partners have been forced to look for an alternative method of financing development projects.
The other significant impact of corruption has been on foreign investment. Rent seeking services tend to have an effect of inflating the cost of doing business and thus destroying the confidence of investors. For instance, a report by the Global competitive report of 2012-2013, one of the significant impediments to investment in Kenya is the high levels of corruption, for a business to set up in Kenya that is forced to part with vast sums of money to get the license. Besides they are regularly required to pay for other services that are not listed anywhere and do not bring value to the business (Hope, 2017). With these cases of corruption increasing daily corruption is leading to a slowdown of investment in the country. It might be said that for the investor, crime is the tax that increased risk and reduces the incentive for investment. The net effect is that the Kenyan economy that suffers from corruption will often take the brand of discouraging potential investors and donors.
However, the impact of corruption is not only limited to pushing away investors. The overall effect boils down to the citizens. Investment in the country provides employment and increases the tax revenues for the public sector. Besides, it leads to the socio-economic development and development program that can reduce power. However, with the high levels of corruption, all these efforts are foiled, and the net effect is the more of the Kenyans are forced to live in poverty (Hope, 2017). The impact does not only limit Kenyans to access services such as health, but it also forces the government to overtax the local citizens to meet its expenditure. The largest share of the impact is that the citizens are forced to leave in objected poverty since they do not have resources and opportunities to invest. The high tax takes away any small investments that they make in addition to limiting their ability to spend.
Corruption is a direct impediment to Kenya’s development and to the improvement of sustaining good governance. In countries that have good structures of government, corruption is actively fought, and the individual found guilty are not allowed into government offices. However, Kenya seems to have a different culture of when it comes to corruption. When an individual is found to be corrupt and relinquished from public office the next step is always to get into corruption. Most of the corrupt individuals have successfully run for public offices and even clinched those positions. In essence, the culture of corruption is directly transferred from one public office to the other. However, there might be hope for the future of the country.
How to deal with corruption
The first effort towards dealing with corruption is to make people that are responsible for with public resources to account for the losses that they incur in their organizations. In the cases, where an individual is suspected of having allowed corruption to take place in the position within their authority, then these individuals should take full responsibility even to the extent of having to relinquish their position. Besides, such an individual should not get any chance of holding any public office (Hope, 2018). However, in Kenya, this has not been the case. An individual is suspected of having allowed corruption to take place, and the only thing that they do is that they are moved to a different public office. In such a case, therefore, these individuals would move corruption from the current to the new offices. Thus the culture of running individuals does not seem to provide any deterrence.
Besides, the institutions that are tasked with the responsibility of dealing cases of corruption should be empowered and allowed to prosecute these individuals. For many years institution such as the EACC and the office of public prosecution have often been seen as the puppet of politicians. They have never been able to carry out any cases of investigation and prosecution. In most cases, the investigation that is carried is often shallow and do not lead to any proceedings. Besides, the evidence is often tampered with since the study is given part of the loot from corruption. Therefore, the issues of corruption in the country have become a severe problem. However, in recent months, there seems to be a renewed effort to deal with the issue. The new DPP and DCI seem to be taking the forefront in trying to track down corrupt individuals. With such an approach it seems that the cases of corruption might reduce in the county. It is the hope of every Kenyan that we can experience the impact of the taxes that we pay.
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