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East Africa | Kenya
Economy - Development | Politics

Kenya, most corrupt East African state - report

afrol News, 6 July - Kenya has topped the East African Bribery Index 2009, according to Transparency International latest report on East Africa. Kenya is followed by Uganda then Tanzania.

The report said widespread corruption in key public institutions in East Africa, more especially in Kenya, threatens to cripple trade and development in the East African region.

The report revealed high levels of corruption in the police, the judiciary, immigration departments, local authorities, power utility companies, Water ministries and hospitals, which have increased the cost of doing business in the region and made it less attractive to investors.

According to the report, public perceptions confirm the region's problem is the widespread corruption. “The public in each of the east African country overwhelmingly thought that corruption had gotten worse in the past year,” it said.

Seventy-four percent of Kenyans ranked the nation as "very corrupt" or "extremely corrupt," compared with 65 percent among Tanzanians and 60 percent of Ugandans.

The high rates of public bribery are paired with a deep lack of faith in public reporting methods. Only six percent of Kenyans from whom bribes were solicited reported the incidence to authorities, according to the report.

More than 50 percent of those Kenyans who did not report bribes stated that their reason for not reporting the incident was due to a belief that no action would be taken.

The Uganda Revenue Authority was the only tax authority in the region that appeared among the top five corrupt institutions.

The bribery report also said the three power utility companies in the region, TENASCO of Tanzania, Kenya Power and Lighting Company and UMEME of Uganda are some of the most corrupt institutions.

The executive director of Transparency International-Kenya, Job Ogonda, said Kenyan public leadership is responsible for the failure to address the nation's corruption issues.

"Even if we are called upon to support the Kenyan police in institutional integrity reforms, then the political will to sustain those reforms depend on the leadership of the Kenyan police and the political leadership of the country," he said.

The East Africa Bribery Index 2009 was conducted by Transparency International-Kenya, Transparency International-Uganda and Tanzania Transparency Forum.

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