Corruption in Kenyan local government 'moderately high'

Procurement is among the departments most prone to corruption at Kenya's county government level.

A survey of 4,965 employees in various departments found that the corruption levels at county government level were perceived to be “moderately high”. 

The Kenyan Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commissions (EACC) was prompted to conduct the survey after media reports suggested corruption and unethical practices were taking root alongside the spread of devolved local services.

Kenya has been undergoing a process of fiscal and political devolution in the hope that localism would remedy the inefficiency, economic stagnation and corruption inflicting the central government. Although in some cases devolution has had the desired effect, in other areas corruption was spreading with it.

The survey found most prevalent procurement irregularities included bid rigging, the inflation of prices, the splitting of tenders to avoid thresholds and tampering with documents.

Finance, public service boards and public works were also listed alongside procurement as among the departments most prone to corruption. 

The release of the survey results coincides with the resignation of EACC chair Phillip Kinisu over an alleged conflict of interest.

The parliament’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee had accused Kinisu of having a conflict of interests, Reuters reported, because of his family company’s business with the state run National Youth Service, currently under investigation by the EACC over lost money.

Kinisu denied any wrongdoing and said in his resignation statement: “At the same time, I am mindful that significant resources and attention are being expended by the state and public on deliberating these matters rather than to the fight against corruption.”

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