Kenya has dropped one point in the 2018 global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International on Tuesday.
The insignificant drop came in the wake of an intensified corruption fight by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, following many cases against individuals and in State agencies and other organisations.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has sustained the fight but has complained about clogs in the system, including lack of watertight cases.
The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being the indicator of the highly corrupt.
It makes use of surveys and assessments by reputable institutions.
Kenya attained a score of 27 points out of 100, down from the 28 it scored in 2017, and took position 144 out of 180.
Tanzania scored 36 out of 100 points and took position 99 while Rwanda had a score of 56 out of 100 and was ranked 48th.
Uganda scored 26 points and was position 149, South Sudan 12 points and position 178, Burundi 17 points and position 170 and Sudan 16 points and position 172.
Kenya’s score was below the global average of 43 and Sub-Saharan Africa’s mean of 32.
In the past five years, Kenya’s score has ranged between 25 and 28, – it attained 26 in 2016 and 25 in 2015 and 2014.
More than two-thirds of the countries score below 50 points, the average being 43.
The report revealed that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption has contributed to a crisis in democracy around the world.
While there were exceptions, the data showed that despite some progress, most countries were failing to make progress against the vice.
The dismal rankings demonstrated that efforts to tackle corruption have not borne many fruits, analysts opined.
The reports notes that despite commitments from African leaders in declaring 2018 as the African Year of Anti-Corruption, this has yet to translate into concrete progress.
Seychelles scores 66 out of 100, to put it at the top of the log in Africa. It was followed by Botswana and Cabo Verde, with scores of 61 and 57 respectively.
At the bottom of the index, for the seventh year in a row was Somalia, with 10 points and then came South Sudan with 13.
“With an average score of just 32, Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest scoring region on the index, followed closely by Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with an average score of 35,” TI said.
The organisation, however, cited Angola, Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa and Kenya as the countries to watch, given “promising political developments”.
In both Kenya and South Africa, citizen engagement in the fight against corruption is crucial, said the report.
“For example, social media has played a big role in driving public conversation around corruption. The rise of mobile technology means ordinary citizens in many countries now have instant access to information, and an ability to voice their opinions in a way that previous generations did not,” the report stated.
“In addition to improved access to information, which is critical to the fight against corruption, government officials in Kenya and South Africa are also reaching to social media to engage with the public.”
It added, “The real test will be whether these new administrations will follow through on their anti-corruption commitments moving forward.”
Nigeria’s performance remained unchanged since 2017.
Ahead of the presidential elections in February, graft remains one of the major problems that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has to tackle.
The other key matter is that of Boko Haram militants who have staged many attacks – the President admitted setbacks in the fight against them.
The reports says that “Nigeria took a number of positive steps in the past three years, including the establishment of a presidential advisory committee against corruption, the improvement of the anti-corruption legal and policy framework in areas such as public procurement and asset declaration, and the development of a national anti-corruption strategy.
“However, these efforts have clearly not yielded the desired results.”
South Africa’s performance also remained unchanged, with a score of 43 since 2017.
When Cyril Ramaphosa took over as President, he promised a sustained war on graftthrough organisations including the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“Although the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) has been in place for years, the current government continues to build momentum for the strategy by soliciting public input,” TI said, citing social media.
TI said that its SA chapter, Corruption Watch, has reported an increase in the number of people reporting graft via platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp.
“The questions remains, however, on whether these and other modern platforms will result in more action by authorities.
TI also took note of the setting up of commissions of inquiry in SA.
“The first commission of inquiry, the Zondo Commission, focuses on state capture, while the second focuses on tax administration and governance of the South African Revenue Service (SARS),” it said.
“Given that previous commissions of inquiry produced few results, the jury is still out on whether the new administration will yield more positive change,” it added.