Graft: EACC puts Kisii, Bomet on the spot

Kisii County was second nationally after Embu in the number of times a bribe is paid in exchange for services.

Wednesday March 16 2016

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi (right) consults with Kisii County Governor James Ongwae (Centre) during an investors' forum in Kisii on February 26, 2016. Meru Governor Peter Munya is on the left. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi (right) consults with Kisii County Governor James Ongwae (Centre) during an investors' forum in Kisii on February 26, 2016. Meru Governor Peter Munya is on the left. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PETER LEFTIE
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Kisii, Bomet and Homa Bay top the list of counties where one is most likely to pay a bribe to access public services, according to a new survey conducted by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC).

Kisii County, where Mr James Ongwae is the Governor, was second nationally after Embu in the number of times a bribe is paid in exchange for services.

It is followed by governor Isaac Ruto’s Bomet, Kwale and Garissa in that order.

The survey, launched Tuesday by EACC chairman Philip Kinisu, however, ranks Migori, headed by governor Okoth Obado top on the list of counties with the lowest average number of times a bribe is paid.

It is followed by Nandi, Nyandarua, Nyeri and Samburu.

Bomet and Kisii also feature prominently on the list of top ten counties where bribes are most likely to be demanded in exchange for services.

Efforts by the Nation to get a comment from Mr Ongwae were unsuccessful as his phone went unanswered and he did not respond to text messages.

Nationally, those seeking services in county offices in Mandera, Garissa and Baringo were being asked to pay the heftiest bribes. In Mandera, the average bribe was Sh80,000.

This reduced to Sh51,990 in Garissa and Sh46,307 in Baringo. Meru closed the list of worst ten with an average bribe of Sh6,639, slightly worse off than Narok and Nandi.

On a positive note, Tana River was one of only two counties across the country which had no incidences of bribery. The other was Turkana County.

In a statement, Turkana County welcomed the report.

“We are happy with the report because it has given the true picture Turkana County,” the statement said.

Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat also welcomed the report.

“Personally, I’m not surprised by our ranking because we have put in place systems and structures that discourage this vice,” he said.

The lowest average bribe paid was recorded in Kericho County — Sh164.81 — followed by Isiolo at Sh200 and Kitui at Sh423.02.

The survey shows that the highest incidences of corruption by public officers were recorded in Garissa county followed by Kisii, Nyamira and Marsabit. On the other hand, Nandi, Kericho and Machakos counties recorded the least observations of corrupt practices in public offices.

Wananchi who were seeking tenders with county governments were asked to pay the highest bribes at an average of Sh275,000. Those seeking employment also had to part with an average of Sh115,933. Others, who paid bribes of less than Sh34,000 were wananchi seeking the release of their impounded goods, those following up on their pensions, students seeking college admission and teachers applying for a Teachers Service Commission (TSC) number.

Nationally, the health services departments of county governments were perceived to be the most corrupt (29.1 per cent), followed by land and physical planning (14.3 per cent), public service boards (13.5 per cent) and Roads, Transport and Public works (11.5 per cent)

Among those interviewed, 34.8 per cent said the main effect of corruption in an increase in poverty levels followed by underdevelopment (26.3 per cent), poor service delivery (6.2 per cent), moral decay (5.3 per cent), inflation (4.4 per cent) and inequality (4.1 per cent).

MINISTRY OF INTERIOR

In the national government, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, which is headed by Maj Gen (rtd) Joseph Nkaissery, was ranked as the most corrupt.

Forty per cent of those interviewed named the ministry as the most corrupt. Another 14.3 per cent said the dubious distinction went to the Health Ministry, headed by Dr Cleopa Mailu.

The Lands Ministry was ranked as most corrupt by 11.3 per cent of the respondents. Others were Education, Transport and Infrastructure, Devolution, Defence and Agriculture.

A nation-wide sample of 5,260 households drawn from 46 counties took part in the survey. Only  Mandera County was not involved.

Of those interviewed, 62.6 per cent said corruption was caused by greed. Only 13 per cent blamed poor pay while 6.3 per cent said bad governance was to blame.

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