A Kenyan survey into political corruption struggled to single anyone out for criticism. The problem? They’re all dirty – at least as far as the Kenyan public is concerned. Not that the politicians will be too worried; after all, politics isn’t always about serving the public. By SIMON ALLISON.
One imagines that Kenyan politicians were secretly pleased with the results of a report compiled by the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission into exactly who are seen as the most corrupt politicians in Kenya. The conclusions of the report – as described by Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper – were based on a public opinion survey, and the results were comprehensive: the most corrupt politicians are ministers, their assistants, parliamentarians, heads of parastatals and government departments, and councillors. So that’s all of them, really.
The finding is useful for Kenya’s politicians; its scope means that no particular group is singled out for criticism. And in a country where politics is often seen as a route to personal gain, they might be satisfied that even the public recognises how effectively they’ve all been dipping their hands in the government tills. This is despite the fact that Kenyan politicians are some of the best paid in Africa. An MP takes home roughly R100,000 a month (nearly double what their South African counterparts do).
The range of misdeeds outlined in the report was immense. Ministers were accused of illegally selling public land (presumably pocketing the sale price themselves); some MPs were found to be slum landlords; still others constructed private buildings on public land.
Publicly, some politicians have criticised the report, writing it off as a political witch-hunt. DM
- Politicians top graft list, says agency in the Africa Review.