By Elizabeth Mwai
The police force remains the most corrupt public institution, a new report by Transparency International says.
|Dr David Ndii, the lead researcher in the survey.|
The report also accuses lawyers of being conduits of corruption within the Judiciary and ranks them among the most corrupt professionals.“The entry of lawyers in the top 10, alongside the Judiciary, which moved from sixth to 12th, opens the possibility that this is the case of migration of bribery from the Bench to the Bar,” says the report.Dr Richard Leakey, the chairman of TI-Kenya’s steering committee, said in the legal arena, bribery was being channelled through the Bar.“When the right to justice is only obtainable by those who can afford bribes and the right to demand accountability from your MP is denied, there can be no equity in justice and no equality in development,” Leakey said.He said although some sectors recorded a decline in bribe-paying, the people still bore the huge cost. The Kenya Bribery Index 2007 shows that despite the police being the most corrupt for the sixth year running, there was an improved score of 46.6, down from 60.3 in 2005.Level of corruption has largely remained unchangedIn addition, the gap between the police and the second worst ranked organisation narrowed from 90 to 30 per cent.Trends in bribe-paying and rent-seeking have also changed over the last six years despite the significantly low willingness of Kenyans to report corruption cases.The report says the level of corruption has largely remained unchanged, with respondents encountering bribes in 54 per cent of their interactions as opposed to 47 per cent in previous years.The average number of bribes paid doubled to 2.5 from 1.5 per person. However, the average size of bribe paid declined from Sh1,700 to Sh1,236, indicating an increase in soliciting for smaller amounts.The lead researcher, Dr David Ndii, explained that job seekers were now paying 42 per cent more bribes to employers and potential employers.He attributes this to scarcity of employment opportunities and the increasing demand from school leavers. Ndii said the bribe paid to get a job has increased from the previous Sh5,000 to Sh7,000, while business-related bribes have risen from Sh400 to Sh3,000.