The police force retained its position as the most corrupt institution in Kenya, a Transparency International report says.
The report released on Thursday to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, says that 92 per cent of Kenyans ranked the police as the most corrupt while the media is viewed as the least corrupt.
The law enforcers, who have maintained this dubious distinction in past studies, are joined at the top of the list by political parties, the Judiciary and Parliament.
In addition, 45 per cent of Kenyans said they had paid a bribe to access services from Customs, education, the Judiciary, land, medical services, police, registration (birth, marriage, licensing and permits), tax administration and utility services (water and electricity).
Kenyans applauded efforts by the government and anti-graft institutions’ efforts to curb corruption, seeing them as effective.
In fact, the majority of citizens said they were willing to engage in the fight against corruption.
The 2010 Global Corruption Barometer Report covered 86 countries and territories, polling 91,781 individuals between June 1 and September 30, 2010 with a margin of error of between +/- 2.18% and 4.40% per country.
In Kenya, the survey had a nationwide sample of 1,000 people and was conducted between July 1 and 10, 2010. Respondents’ views were sought on the extent to which they believed 11 key sectors and institutions are affected by graft.
The list included the civil service, education system, the Judiciary, the media, the military, non-governmental organisations, Parliament, police, political parties, the private sector and religious bodies.
“On a scale of one to five (one being not corrupt and five being extremely corrupt), the Kenya Police got an average score of 4.6, indicating a perception of extremely corrupt,” TI-Kenya said in a statement.
The police are followed by political parties, the Judiciary and Parliament, which were all perceived as corrupt with an average score of 3.8.
The education and the private/business sectors scored 3 and 2.8 respectively with the media perceived as the least corrupt at 1.6.
Three out of five Kenyans said that either they or a household member had paid a bribe to the police in the last 12 months while two out every five had bribed a member of the Judiciary.
Generally, the police were perceived as the most corrupt institution in the countries sampled by TI in all sub-Saharan countries, with an average of 4.5 followed by political parties and the legislature with average scores of 3.9 and 3.8 respectively.
Globally, political parties were seen as the most affected by corruption, particularly in Europe (highest at 4.4), Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and the Western Balkans regions: almost 80 per cent of all respondents said parties were either corrupt or extremely corrupt.
However, 48 per cent of Kenyans polled returned a positive response to anti-graft measures, saying that levels of corruption were going down.
This is in contrast to 56 per cent of respondents worldwide who said corruption in their countries had increased over the past three years.
“It is noteworthy that Kenya was among countries that recorded relatively low corruption incidence perception levels, with an average of 62 per cent of the respondents sampled from Sub-Saharan countries saying that corruption in their countries had increased,” the report said.
Europe had the highest number of people saying corruption had increased in the past three years at 73 per cent, followed by North America at 67 per cent.
“As various stakeholders and members of the public mark International Anti-Corruption Day, there must be greater resolve and action towards improving access to information which is now a constitutional right.
“This will enable the public to monitor the management of public affairs and expenditure,” TI-Kenya executive director Samuel Kimeu said.
He also called for protection of the poor, the marginalised and the young who bear the brunt of corruption.