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Interior, Health ministries the most corrupt: EACC survey

Tuesday November 19 2019

Fred Matiang'i

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IBRAHIM ORUKO
By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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The Interior ministry has retained its position as the most corrupt government entity in a survey done by the anti-corruption watchdog in 2018.

The findings of the survey by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) also show that Wajir is the county where demands for bribery remains the highest for the third year running.

The report launched Tuesday shows the Interior ministry, headed by super minister Fred Matiang’i, has a corruption perception index of 47.5 percent followed by the Health (17.9 percent) and Agriculture at 13.8 percent.

MOST CORRUPT AGENCIES

However, despite being the reigning champion in graft perception, incidences of corruption significantly reduced in the last one year.

In the 2017 survey, incidences in the Interior ministry stood at 64.7 percent and in the latest ranking, this figure dropped by 17.2 percent.

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The Health ministry, headed by Sicily Kariuki, assumed a similar trend from the 27.8 percent it recorded in 2017 to 17.9 percent.

However, the Agriculture docket, in the hands of Mwangi Kiunjuri, slid further into corruption taking the third place in the survey conducted in December last year.

The Lands ministry also registered a significant drop in incidence of corruption, from 23.9 percent in 2017 to 11 percent in 2018.

The ministries of Transport and Infrastructure at (10.4 percent), Education (6.8 percent), Devolution (6.1 percent), Defence (4.5 percent), the National Treasury (4.2 percent) and the Energy (3.8 percent) tie up the top 10 most corrupt government agencies.

At the bottom of the list are ministries of Environment, Petroleum and Mining; Tourism and Wildlife, all at 0.3 percent, while ICT, and Industrialisation are at 0.1 percent.

GRAFT TRIALS

Speaking at their Integrity House headquarters in Nairobi, where the report was released, EACC chairman Eliud Wabukala said the data would strengthen Kenya's anti-corruption strategy.

Mr Wabukala challenged legislators to strengthen and tighten laws as one of the ways of putting impetus in the anti-corruption fight.

In particular, the commission wants Parliament to amend the laws to provide timeliness in anti-graft trials.

“We need to expedite the hearing and disposal of anti-corruption cases. We need timelines so that cases do not go on until witnesses die,” he said.

Other amendments the commission wants implemented are a provision in law mandating state officers to step aside when under investigation or charged for corruption.

It also wants a provision for EACC officers to have unrestricted access to wealth declaration reports, such as lifestyle audits by State officers, for purposes of investigations, as well as a clear provision in law allowing it to effectively manage seized, forfeited or confiscated assets.

OTHER AGENCIES

On government departments and agencies, one is most likely to encounter corruption and unethical practices at the Kenya Police (39.6 percent), Kenya Power (12.9 percent) , National Hospital Insurance Fund (11.1 percent) and the National Youth Service (9.5 percent).

You are also most likely to be asked for a bribe at the courts (8.6 percent), National Land Commission (8.1 percent) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (6.8 percent).

INFORMANTS

The respondents were drawn from 5,942 households in all the 47 counties and the research conducted between November 16 and December 19, 2018.

Ten key informants were also involved and the exercise relied on the fifth national sample survey and evaluation programme developed and maintained by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in identifying representative sample.