gone up, say Kenyans
Story by LUCAS BARASA
Publication Date: 9/17/2005
Ninety four per cent of Kenyans
think corruption has increased since Narc came to power in 2003, says a
But the report was rejected by
some civil society leaders who claimed it was not inclusive and that it had
been doctored to suit some interests.
The 94 per cent of
people felt "corruption was growing instead of decreasing,"
said the local African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) national
governing council chairperson, the Rev Jepthah Gathaka.
He was speaking during
an APRM national stakeholders consultative forum at Kenyatta
International Conference Centre, Nairobi, yesterday.
The Rev Gathaka said he
witnessed policemen receiving bribes at a roadblock, showing that
the vice was still on and that "the 94 per cent was not an
exaggeration and the percentage could even be more."
"Of the 13
roadblocks I passed while travelling to Busia, there were activities
going on either behind or in front of the vehicle. It is a pity that
Kenyans can no longer be proud of being Kenyan," he said.
People felt the Government was not
doing much to end the vice but they too continued to give bribes, he said.
However, in the report, Kenyans
praise the Government for introducing free primary education and attempting to
improve health services.
The Rev Gathaka warned: "They
however feel the Government is turning from being of the people, for the
people, to that of politicians for politicians."
The report captured the views of
Kenyans, said the Rev Gathaka.
Planning and National Development
assistant minister Simeon Lesrima said the report was a reflection of what
Kenyans thought about governance but denied that corruption had increased on a
large scale in the past two and a half years. "It is a question of
perception and opening up of democratic space and freedom of expression,"
Prof Michael Chege, an adviser for
the Planning ministry, said Kenyans had also given the Government credit for
trying to deal with corruption.
They were, however, unhappy with
the small number of prosecutions and recovery of stolen property.
"Many of those implicated in
graft are still free and the Government has to try hard to bring them to book,"
But the Government was accused of
interfering with the process and doctoring the report by a group of civil
society leaders at Pan-Afric Hotel.
The group, led by former local
APRM national governing council chairperson Grace Akumu, said key actors in
the process were also locked out.
"The minister should be
prevailed upon from delivering a flawed APRM Kenya Report," they said in
The review falls under Planning
minister Anyang' Nyongo's docket.
The group also vowed to urge the
APRM continental secretariat in South Africa to reject the report and allow
them to conduct a shadow review which would include the views of all Kenyans.
Kenya is among four countries
chosen by the New Partnership for African Development (Nepad) for the APRM
survey, which looks at the country's performance in political, democratic,
socio-economic and good corporate governance. The others are Rwanda, Ghana and
Rwanda and Ghana have already
presented their reports but Mauritius' was rejected for alleged government