Kenya has taken six steps up the table of global corruption levels thanks to efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta to slay runaway graft.
It is ranked position 137 out of 180 countries in the 2019 global Corruption Perception Index report by Transparency International.
That compares to position 143 in 2018 and 145 in 2017.
In the just-released findings, Transparency International (TI) awarded Kenya a score of 28 out of 100 in a scale in which zero counts as "highly corrupt" and 100 counts as "very clean".
Despite the improvement by a single point from 2018, Kenya is still below the global average score of 43 and the Sub-Saharan’s 32.
In the east African region, Rwanda is the least corrupt (53 points), followed by Tanzania with 37, Kenya and Uganda tied at 28, Burundi had 19 and South Sudan was last at 12 points.
Globally, New Zealand and Denmark had the highest score at 87, while Syria, South Sudan and Somalia had the lowest scores from 13 to 9.
According to TI, Kenya’s score was as a result of its failure to regulate funds used in campaigns despite enacting the Election Campaign Financing Act in 2013.
Parliament has deferred the implementation of the legislation to 2022.
This, according to TI, is crippling the ability of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to monitor and regulate the money used in campaigns.
“This has made elections in Kenya among the most expensive polls in Africa, a trend that should be urgently reversed,” the Berlin-headquartered NGO said.
The Chair of Transparency International Delia Ferreira Rubio called on the government to address the issue, saying, the big money in political party financing was exerting undue influence on political systems.
The anti-corruption body further implored President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government to show real outcomes and instil public confidence in its war against corruption.
“Convictions and recovery of assets are key indicators of success in efforts to tackle corruption; following the spate of high profile arrests and arraignments in court, anti-corruption agencies should bolster investigations and prosecutions that will lead to convictions and the recovery of stolen public resources,” it said.
TI adds that the recent directive by President Uhuru on conflict of interest among public officials has the potential to escalate the success in the fight against graft if followed through.
The agency has recommended a raft of ideas to tame corruption including, urging Parliament to prioritise the enactment of the Whistleblower Protection and the False Claims Bills that will protect those who report corruption cases.
This article was originally published on Standard Media.