The Kombo Committee List of Shame
Corruption is the misuse of public office for private or personal gain. Corruption can be a one time affair or it can occur routinely and systematically.
Today Corruption is so extensive and deep routed that almost 56% of tax revenue is misappropriated corruptly in one way or another. In 1999 Kenya lost and estimated 130 Billion shillings in revenue and tax evasion. This amounts to almost 20% of GDP.
Corruption ranges from petty bribery of a policeman by a person who has broken traffic rules to the gross over-invoicing of a state corporation by a lawyer by services not rendered. Chiefs and assistant chiefs collect money by force from peasants in the country side for harambee projects which are at times non existent. Politicians looking for votes in Kenya capitalize on the poverty of peasants by buying their votes with money and cheap favours
Thus poverty, authoritarian rule, erosion of accountability in the process of Government, misuse of political power, unsatisfactory civil service wages, weak law enforcement institutions aid and abet corruption in society in general and in the public service in particular. Blind political loyalties also lead to high tolerace of corrupt practices.
The impact of corruption on both government and society has been detrimental to the national character of Kenyans, the nature of our government, our social progress and our economic prosperity in general.
While Kenyans complain about corruption and seem to understand its causes and adverse effects, they at the same time practice and tolorate it. This is because corruption is also justified and defended on tribal lines where it is idiologically regarded as a distributive mechanism for the so called national cake.
It will not be easy to curb corruption in Kenya unless its idiologically masking by tribalism is fully understood and delt with