09 Nov


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. Fighting corruption in Kenya is really hard just like I have read on previous posts on Face Book which lead me here. I totally agree on what my fellow Kenyans have been saying Corruption is hard to fight and it will take forever. Look at the people being targeted by the KACC some junior police officers-small fish whereas we have big officials whom the whole world know they are in the lead in corruption.

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 neuroscience 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 hubris-tic (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.

I feel that Kenyans everywhere need to mobilize an effort and come up with a comprehensive Authority to counter corruption. This needs to be done by the citizenry i.e. parents, school teachers, nurses and citizens most affected by the corruption. I believe these efforts need to be enshrined in the constitution.

1 Comment

Posted by on November 9, 2009 in Uncategorized



  1. shiftah

    November 13, 2009 at 10:06 am

    When people in Kenya ask you for tea, they are often not requesting a hot drink but rather a bribe. For many years, this expression has been used to put a dirty meaning into nice words, as As useful as this euphemism may have been for many years to avoid the word “corruption”, it does represent how corruption can turn a society upside down.
    Kenya this Kenya that. What is happening to our beloved country? I deal with matatu business and i face these policemen everyday and they ask for money from us everyday every hour. Corruption is deep than we can ever think. As i was reading some of the comments here i noticed that most of us understand the problem we face but do very little or nothing about it because we have made corruption as a culture or as part of us. The whistle blowers are always threatened and we have all witnessed many killed by what they call hired to kill. Fight against corruption must start with us in such a way that we push for good leadership from the very top. I must say that wananchi play a big role too in encouraging corruption because the minute my friends see that i gave the traffic officer some money and my cars were let free why will he not do the same? I feel that in as much as we are in the 3rd world we are far ahead in technology and many other ways can be improved. Let us choose responsible leaders who will stream line most of the corrupt public and private offices or organizations.


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