EU Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from the European Commission. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

What is that state of overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Kenya? We are particularly interested in its public financial management.

Content

1. Overview of corruption in Kenya
2. Overview of anti-corruption efforts
3. References

Summary

Since independence, Kenya has suffered from widespread corruption that is evidenced in most sectors of public life and has led to an apparent culture of impunity. Although the former president, Mwai Kibaki, was elected on an anti-corruption platform in 2002, his regime was itself engulfed in several corruption scandals.

Petty bribery, embezzlement, and electoral irregularities are some of the main corruption challenges Kenya faces today. In 2007, Kibaki’s announced victory amidst widespread allegations of electoral manipulation provoked violent turmoil causing the deaths of more than 1000 people. While the 2013 presidential elections were relatively peaceful, there were further allegations of vote- rigging. The elected president, Uhuru Kenyatta, also faces charges of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in connection with the 2007 election violence.

Together with a seeming lack of political will, the government has had a poor record in convicting high-level officials. The previous and current government have carried out a series of anti-corruption reforms, including successfully voting in a new constitution in 2010 as well as tightening its anti-money laundering regime. Nevertheless, many have reportedly observed a watering down of anti-corruption legislation and a lack of implementation.

Authors

Samira Lindner, Transparency International, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

03/11/2014

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