EACC report reveals police, immigration and registration of persons as corruption hotspots.

  • 28 Mar 2024
  • 4 Mins Read
  • 〜 by James Ngunjiri

Greed and desire for quick services have been identified as the major cause of corruption in public service. 

The National Ethics and Corruption Survey (NECS) Report, 2023, which was carried out in December last year by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and released on March 27, ranked government ministries, departments, agencies (MDAs), and counties as the most prone to corruption, hampering economic growth and affecting living standards. It also increased the cost of living, leading to unemployment and poverty. 

The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government is perceived as the most prone to corruption, while under the ministry, police are perceived as the most prone department.  County health services departments are also perceived as the most prone to corruption at the county government level. 

Already, six out of ten Kenyans perceive corruption to be high, with five out of ten perceiving that corruption has been increasing and that giving and receiving bribes, abuse of office, favouritism, nepotism, and deliberate delay in service provision are perceived as the leading forms of corruption and unethical conduct in public service. 

According to EACC, the average bribe doubled in the past year, with the largest shares of national bribes recorded in West Pokot, Nairobi, and Uasin Gishu counties. Individuals seeking employment, applying for a passport, seeking a police abstract, bailing an arrested person, and obtaining a tender paid the most bribes. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) were the institutions considered most prone to bribery.

EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak said the survey had flagged bureaucratic systems that promote corrupt practices. The EACC boss revealed that the report’s recommendations had been translated into a Rapid Results Initiative drive that will include enhanced enforcement, a heightened media campaign, and enhanced public engagement, among other things.

“In the NECS 2023 Report, 60 percent of the respondents were dissatisfied with integrity, transparency and accountability in public service delivery in Kenya. Corruption was ranked the fourth most pressing problem facing the country after high cost of living, unemployment, and poverty. 34.4 percent of respondents who sought government services were asked to pay a bribe, with 28.3 percent of the respondents paying,” said Mr Mbarak. 

He called on all stakeholders to unite against corruption and promote ethical conduct in public service. 

Corruption assumes various forms perpetrated by different actors, ranging from small bribes to more intricate schemes like kickbacks, fraud, collusion, embezzlement, extortion, influence peddling, and beneficial ownership. 

Its repercussions on government projects span various areas, leading to increased prices, inflated project costs, delays in project completion, poor project quality, and a distortion in public spending structures favouring new projects over maintenance and operations.

EACC Chairperson, Bishop Dr David Oginde, said the fight against corruption must be prioritised to expedite development and advance progress towards Vision 2030 and the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda. 

“Despite challenges arising from the politicisation of anti-corruption efforts, public apathy, and rapid technological changes, the EACC reports significant strides in having recovered properties worth KSh23.84 billion and averting losses of KSh34.49 billion between 2018 and 2023,” said Dr Oginde. 

Article 61 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) emphasises the collection, exchange, and analysis of information on corruption, highlighting the need to analyse trends and circumstances surrounding corruption offences. 

The Constitution of Kenya 2010, Ethics and Anti-corruption Act (2011) and Leadership and Integrity Act (2012) require EACC to report on the impact of its activities on the fight against corruption. 

Kenya’s ambition towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is significantly undermined by corruption. Huge sums are lost to corruption that could have otherwise been used to improve living standards by increasing access to housing, health, education and water. 

Consequently, achieving SDG number 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is key to reducing the high level of corruption in Kenya. It requires states to substantially reduce bribery and corruption by promoting accountable and inclusive institutions, reducing illicit financial flows and strengthening the recovery of stolen assets. 

According to a 2022 report by EACC, poverty and culture are some of the leading causes of corruption in Kenya. The graft agency noted that misuse of state power and resources by the political elite fosters a culture of corruption, entrenching corrupt behaviour as an acceptable way of life to the extent that dipping into the purse of the public is no longer a behaviour of concern. 

In addition, due to poverty and the desire to live better, EACC points out that the citizenry is usually willing to use all available means to improve their standards of living, even if it means engaging in corruption. 


The report recommended a raft of measures, including intensifying public awareness campaigns to educate citizens on the detrimental effects of corruption and the role they can play in reporting unethical practices. “The most popular television, radio, print media and social media channels should be prioritised for public awareness campaigns on anti-corruption, ethics and integrity.”

Second, the anti-corruption institutions should be strengthened and adequately resourced to enhance their capacity to receive and investigate, increase their regional presence and simplify their reporting processes.

Third, collaboration between EACC and other strategic agencies should be promoted to ensure a coordinated and effective approach to tackling corruption at various levels and disseminate anti-corruption information to sensitise the public on their rights, where to report and how to report corruption.

Fourth, enhance public participation and feedback mechanisms in the fight against corruption by promoting existing citizen feedback mechanisms and encouraging and facilitating public engagement in monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of anti-corruption initiatives. 

Fifth, expedite the enactment of the Whistleblower Protection Bill and establish whistleblower protection mechanisms to eliminate the fear of victimisation of whistleblowers, potential harassment and reprisal.

Sixth, undertake systems examination in institutions where bribery was either most likely or prevalent. Effective anti-corruption measures, including policy reforms, systems, procedures and practices, should be reviewed to address corruption in those institutions.

Seventh, preventive measures should be instituted in Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Counties (MDACs) most prone to corruption. Counties and public institutions that have been highly ranked in the bribery indices should implement results-based initiatives to enhance citizens’ satisfaction with their service delivery and processes, thereby reducing inefficiencies that encourage corruption and unethical behaviour.

Eighth, accounting officers enforce existing anti-corruption regulations and promote a culture of integrity and ethics.

Nine, the government should consistently and actively demonstrate its commitment to fighting corruption through transparent and accountable actions such as swift and decisive measures against corrupt practices in public offices. 

Lastly, encourage a culture of integrity through intensifying ethics training, introducing mentorship programmes, and recognising individuals and institutions with exemplary ethical standards.