In January the Kenyan government announced that the country was at war with its mafia like criminal cartels run by politicians and business people. According to Kenya's Chief Justice eighty percent of the country's political leaders are not fit to hold office and that corruption is at an all-time high. so we wanted to know just how corrupt is Kenya?
Well Kenya has dealt with corruption since its first President Jomo Kenyatta took office. In at the time the country had just gained independence from Britain and European settlers had left much of Kenya's land unclaimed. Kenyatta became massively wealthy by purchasing most of the land. Well it was cheap and later profiting off of business ventures on that land increased the first family’s wealth.
To this day many Kenyans still credit Kenyatta's regime for creating a culture of wealth accumulation by way of corruption among public officials. A half-century later Kenya is still dealing with corruption in the public sector. Many of Kenya's politicians and public officials are allegedly tied to organized crime gangs and profit from migrant trafficking, weapons drugs and counterfeiting. Additionally an official audit showed that only one percent of Kenya's sixteen billion dollar budget was used lawfully and roughly a quarter of that budget and gone missing altogether.
Much of Kenyan government corruption is a result of bribes which are generally small but paid frequently. The average urban resident pays several bribes per month typically to policemen or bureaucrats. In fact roughly two out of three of citizen’s interactions with public officials result in a bribe or a negative consequence if they declined to bribe.
Kenya's police force is by far the most corrupt of any private or public institution. Police allegedly collect most of their bribes from routine traffic stops and it's not uncommon for higher-ups in law enforcement to give their officers a minimum quota for bribes. Much of the money ends up in the hands of police chiefs rather than officers.
Kenyan police are particularly susceptible to bribes because they're very poorly paid and despite efforts to tackle the issue corruption has only gotten worse since the current president took office. In just one year Kenya dropped nine spots on the corruption perception index. Bring it alongside countries like Bangladesh and Kenyan president has repeatedly promised to combat government fraud. however his own administration has been called the most corrupt in the country's history.
United States pledged more than a million dollars to set up an investigation unit to uncover government fraud. Anti-corruption campaigns are now taught in public schools and broadcast over the radio and Kenyan artists have taken to the streets to voice their frustrations with anti-corruption graffiti and murals.
Still there is considerable work to be done according to Kenya's Chief Justice. The connection between cartels and politicians must be broken before the country sees any lasting improvement.