05 Nov


As we all know this blog is fully for Kenyans or any other person who has been affected directly or indirectly by corruption in Kenya. While a certain level of this vice goes on in every country, corruption in Kenya is a particularly large problem. The average urban Kenyan has to pay 16 bribes a month to get his regular affairs arranged.

Tribalism, as Key Factor in Corruption.
One factor that fuels the problems of corruption in Kenya is tribal loyalty. People in Kenya are first and foremost loyal to their families, then their clan (extended family), then their tribe. Member of the same clan or tribe often ‘help’ each other, even when it involves illegal corruption. Tribal influences have waned over the years, but are still strong.
Corruption and Kenya’s Presidents
Unfortunately, corruption played a role with all 3 Kenyan presidents up to now.

• Jomo Kenyatta
He was the first president of Kenya after independence in 1963. During colonialism, the European colonizers had stolen fertile lands from, among others, the Kalenjin tribe. After the independence (in 1963), Kenyatta did not return those lands to the former owners, but handed it over to members of his own clan and tribe (the Kikuyu). Kenyatta himself became one of the largest private land owners in the country.

• Daniel arap Moi
During Daniel arap Moi’s presidency – Kenya’s second president – corruption was widespread and involved Moi himself on many occasions. In the 1990s, he was part of the Goldenberg scandal, where smuggled gold was exported out of Kenya in exchange for high government subsidies. It’s one of the largest corruption scandals to date in Kenya, which involved nearly the entire Moi government. Many officials from the Central Bank and more than 20 senior judges have also been implicated. As of 2008, only a small handful of people been charged with a criminal offense, which some see as an example of the continuing problem of corruption and favoritism.

• Mwai Kibaki
The third president, Mwai Kibaki, was elected in 2002 mainly on the promise to end corruption in Kenya once and for all. Admittedly, there have been quite some improvements in the country (among them press freedom, return of elections and introduction of free and compulsory primary education for all) but corruption had remained a big issue. To start with, his administration consists largely of Kikuyu, while this tribe is only 22 percent of the Kenyan population. From 2003 to 2006, Kibaki’s cabinet spent 14 million dollars on new Mercedes cars for themselves. In late 2008, several members of Kibaki’s parliament were found to have taken large “allowances”, which were not legally part of their official compensation.


Posted by on November 5, 2009 in Uncategorized



  1. patric

    November 9, 2009 at 9:21 am

    It can hardly be said that corruption in Kenya is limited to a few rogue officials at the top. The culture of corruption has grown roots in society at large and become endemic.
    British historian Lord Acton said: “Power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In other words, a person’s moral compass goes bonkers when his or her power increases.
    More recently, Lord Owen, a former British Foreign Secretary and neuroscientist by training, argued that power does not just corrupt politicians; it can actually drive some of them crazy.
    In his 2007 book, The Hubris Syndrome: Bush, Blair and the Intoxication of Power, Owen argues that for many politicians at the top, power has an intoxicating effect much like that induced by a mood-altering drug.
    They become hubristic (possessed of arrogance, pompous, overbearing, supercilious, and over-confident) and live in their own make-believe reality.
    Corruption persists in Kenya because there are people in power who benefit from it. An anti-corruption commission has been at work in Kenya since 1997, but by 2009, Kenya is still classified as one of the most corrupt states in the world.
    Significant inroads against corruption are currently impossible for many reasons. In most parts of the country, the local people are already resigned to it. They think there is nothing they can do about it. They therefore try to accommodate it by paying bribes.
    At best, the anti-graft war today is a matter of triage. Does one start tinkering with corruption at the very top, the bureaucratic middle or the street-level traffic cop?
    We cannot expect to root out graft by setting up a toothless anti-corruption agency or by paying lip-service to good governance to impress donors.
    Effective anti-corruption efforts require an active democratic culture and a vigilant citizenry empowered to confront and fight corruption in daily life

  2. Elijah Mwangi

    August 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    A goverment that robs peter to pay paul shall always depend on the support of Paul.


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