Bribery remains the most common form of corruption in public offices, report
Bribery remains the most common form of corruption and unethical conduct in public offices in Kenya, according to the 2021 National Ethics and Corruption Survey (NECS).
The survey, conducted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), found that 50.3 per cent of respondents had witnessed bribery in public offices, followed by favoritism (22.9%), delays in service provision (21.6%), abuse of office (13.3%), and poor service provision (13.2%).
Overall, 20.9 per cent of respondents who sought government services were asked to pay a bribe. The highest bribery demands were recorded in Narok County at 31.7 per cent, followed by Elgeyo Marakwet County (31.3%), Nakuru County (29.3%), and Kisii County (28.5%).
Bribe payments declined to 16.5 per cent for those who were asked to pay in order to receive a government service, compared to 73.1 per cent in the previous survey. Of those asked to pay a bribe, 83.5 per cent declined.
The survey also found that incidents of bribe payments were highest in Mandera at 34.4 per cent, followed by Narok (30.1%), Nakuru (26.7%), and Elgeyo Marakwet (25.8%). On the other hand, instances of bribe payment were lowest in Marsabit (1.1%), followed by Tharaka Nithi (4.8%), Embu (6.6%), and Nyeri (7.3%).
The survey also found that seeking medical services (27.8%) was the service most prone to corruption, followed by registration/collection/renewal of national identification cards (14.8%), application/collection of birth certificates (14%), processing of a bursary (6.9%), processing a police abstract (4.2%), bailing of arrested individuals (4.1%), and solving a land conflict (4%).
The Ministry of Health was ranked first with the highest prevalence of bribery at 18.8%, followed by the chiefs/village elder’s office (14.3%), registrar of persons (12.9%), civil registration (10.3%), public hospitals/dispensaries (9.3%), regular police (7.8%), Huduma Centers (7.7%), and the ministry of lands (4.5%).
The national average bribe increased significantly from KES 3,833.14 in 2018 to KES 5,889.89 in 2021. By county, service seekers in Narok County paid the highest average bribe at KES 42,652.96, followed by those in Mombasa (KES 23,387.50), Mandera (KES 13,168.13), and Nyandarua (KES 11,109.09) counties.