Corruption, as a social science, has been mystified and even ignored for many generations.
Not many people would like to talk about this subject, openly and transparently.
Now, it is becoming a subject of great concern, not only in the developing nations but also in the developed world. The subject has impacted so negatively in our social, economic and political life, that we can no longer keep quiet about it. Corruption is eroding the moral values of many nations and consigning many people to perpetual poverty and deprivation. To me this is a subject that is becoming more important and critical than even civics and geography in schools. It is a subject that touches and affects the morality of nations.
I have a passionate concern, that, if we in Africa want to make Africa a better place to live in, then we must address this subject with the seriousness it deserves. Like any other social science, this subject should be introduced in our schools, and colleges, so that our young people, could be made acutely aware of the evils of this vice, and how it could be eradicated from our society. If this is done, our future generations will live in a much better society than we are today. There should also be programmes in place, organized by the civil society, and other agencies to educate the masses about the consequences of corruption in society. I do, however, appreciate that without available materials, my propositions could not be feasible. This book therefore, is intended to form a good source of Civic Education Material into Corruption in Africa and more specifically, in Kenya. The book has been written with those educational objectives, specifically in mind.
It is the intention of this book to show that corruption poses a serious challenge in terms of the economic, political and social development in the AfricanContinent. Corruption undermines democratic institutions and good governance in the political landscape. It reduces accountability and negates representation and policymaking in the electoral process. It abrogates the rule of law in the judiciary. Corruption also encourages nepotism resulting into unequal provision of resources to the population in the public sector.
The book further endeavours to show, that corruption undermines the legitimacy of government, and such democratic values as human rights, respect for therule of law, trust and tolerance. Corruption also does undermine economic development by advancing narrow and selfish economic policies and incompetence, in the delivery of services to the people. This book seeks to analyze, how corruption in public institutions, has squandered the national wealth, and impoverished the people. There is also a critical analysis on bureaucratic corruption, and how the public officers achieve their objectives, by diverting public investment away from social and people friendly projects, such as poverty reduction, education, health and housing, into capital projects, simply to attract bribes for individual benefits. The book examines institutional corruption in various departments of government, including the Police, Judiciary, Public Works, Immigration, Revenue Authority, Lands, Local Government and many other public institutions. The book also examines corruption in the public and private sectors, including public corporations, political banks, educational institutions and how the general public, have also contributed to the vice.
The book further, examines corruption in other African countries, and makes, useful comparisons. It goes on to deal with measures that are being put in place,both in Kenya, and other African countries to fight corruption nationally, and internationally.
The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, and the Public Servants Ethics Act that the Kenya Government, has put in place are discussed in some detail. The role of civil society and other organizations like Transparency International, and the media in the fight against corruption are discussed. The international financial institutions, and how they have put in place mechanisms, which include economic, social and political prescriptions to developing countries, in the fight against corruption, are discussed.
The book observes, that in Kenya, the General, Parliamentary, Civic and Presidential elections have just been concluded in December 2002. The elections were successful, and the people of Kenya elected what a majority of Kenyans perceive as a peoples' democratic government. The new government has therefore, the peoples' mandate to fight corruption and it has shown the willingness and the capacity to deal with the vice. This book is therefore intended to expose the true nature of the vice, how it has impoverished the Kenyan people, and how it could be eradicated. The book is also intended to show how corruption has slowed down the overall development in Africa in general.
The study that was carried out in Kenya does indeed reflect the kind of problems faced by many other countries in Africa in the fight against corruption. As we examined the institutional corruption in various organizations in Kenya, similar levels of corruption were found in the same institutions in other African countries. Kenya is therefore simply a case study of what you would find, with little exception, in most African countries. For example the police corruption in Kenya had great similarities to what we found in South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The institutional corruption, found in various government departments in Kenya, was comparable, with most other African countries. Corruption found in projects funded by international organizations cut across many African countries.
The corruption bug has given Africa and Kenya in particular a bad name. Everything must be done to minimize and finally eradicate corruption from the African continent. The developed World must support the efforts being made by Africa to end graft, by ensuring that they too, do not abet or participate in the vice.