"Corruption is ultimately causing poverty. It's poisoning our politics. It's increasing the level of violence in our politics. It's causing Kenya – despite all our growth, the shiny buildings, all the nice cars – to head towards failure."
John Githongo, anti-corruption campaigner
Despite being classed as a lower middle-income country, the gap between rich and poor in Kenya is vast, with an estimated 17.6 million citizens living in extreme poverty.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has been vocal regarding the Government’s commitment to tackling corruption. However, during his time in office a number of high-profile scandals and allegations have rocked his administration.
As of July 2019 no Kenyan public official charged with graft has even been convicted. However, the country’s Chief Justice David Maraga appointed additional magistrates to the anti-corruption court in early 2019 and in a case spearheaded by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) 27 officials have been arrested in relation to the pay out of $180 million for the construction of the Arror and Kimwarer dam projects, which have failed to get off the ground.
Among those officials to have been accused of corruption in the matter is Kenya’s former Finance Minister Henry Rotich, who was arrested for charges including financial misconduct, abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud the public in July 2019. Citizens now wait to see if convictions will be secured.
Kenya is ranked 144 out of 180 on Transparency International’s Corruption Index.
“A time has come for us to fight impunity. A time has come for every Kenyan to realize no matter how powerful you think you or how much money you have… That will not save you.” President Uhuru Kenyatta