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Longer, analytical article.  The Monster called Corruption (Intro's & Ch.1)

Summary & Comment: AfricaFiles is happy to post - in 7 parts - this excellent study guide (90 pages) describing, analyzing and prescribing prevention to slay the `Monster' called Corruption. The Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace has produced, from its extensive workshops around Kenya, a detailed readable resource of great value, not only for Kenyans and Africans but for all of us. Rev J Gathaka, the Director of the Centre, would welcome your comments. You may ask him for permission to reprint it for non-profit use. ecut@nbnet.co.ke The Centre also welcomes donations for its work. JK

Author: Barasa K. Nyukuri and Jephthah Gathaka with Silas Bururia Date Written: 2 December 2004
Primary Category: Kenya Document Origin: The Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace
Secondary Category: Africa General Source URL: http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=7344
Key Words: Kenya, corruption, definitions, descriptions


Printable Version
The Monster called Corruption

by Barasa K. Nyukuri and Jephthah K. Gathaka
with Silas Bururia and Wilfred Nyamu

A CHALLENGE TO THE LEADERS AND CITIZENS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

Published by: 
The Ecumenical Trust for:
The Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace
P.O Box 64267 
00620 NAIROBI
ISBN: 9966-9837-3-2
© The Ecumenical Trust 2004
Cover design:  Samuel Muigai Goko

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface ................................................................................. i
Acknowledgements .................................................................. ii
 Introduction  .....................................................................  1

Chapter I
What is Corruption  ...............................................................  3

Chapter II

Forms, dimensions and levels of corruption  ...................7

  Forms and dimensions  ............................................7 

 Social form and dimension  ........................................7

 Economic form and dimension  .................................  8

 Political form and dimension  ...................................  10

 Legal form and dimension  ........................................ 11

 Psychological form and dimension  .........................  13

 Environmental form and dimension  ........................  14

 Cultural form and dimension  ...................................15

 Religious form and dimension  .................................  16

 Civil society form and dimension  ............................  18

 International form and dimension  ............................  19

 Levels of corruption  .............................................  20

 Petty corruption  .......................................................  20

 Grand corruption  .....................................................  21

Chapter III

Types of corruption  ..........................................................23 

Cheating  ....................................................................... 23  

Looting  .........................................................................24 
 
Systemic  ...................................................................   25 

Transactive  ................................................................  26

 Extortion  .................................................................... 27

 Nepotistic  ...................................................................  28

 Supportive  ..................................................................  28

 Deceitful  .....................................................................  29

 Defensive  ...................................................................  29

 Token and handout  ....................................................  30

 Promissory  .................................................................  31

 Bureaucratic  ...............................................................  32

 Electoral  .....................................................................  33

 Sexual  ........................................................................  33

Chapter IV

Historical perspective of corruption  ...................................  35 

 Colonialism and corruption  ........................................  ......35

 Corruption and the post-independence period  ........... ......... 38

Chapter V
Causes of corruption  ..........................................................  40

Chapter VI
Effects of corruption  ...........................................................  44

Chapter VII

Strategies for fighting corruption  ........................................  49


 Preventive strategeis  .................................................  49

 Enforcement strategies  ..............................................  50

 Public awareness and civic education strategies  .......  50

 Institutional building strategies  ...................................  51

 Other strategies  .........................................................  52

Chapter VIII

Initiatives against corruption  ....................................... 53 

 Past initiatives  .......................................................  53

 Other past initiatives against corruption  .....................  59

 Current initiatives against corruption  ..........................  65

 Other current initiatives against corruption  ................  71

Chapter IX
Responsibilities and challenges in fighting corruption  .............................................................  78

 Roles and responsibilities  ..........................................  78

 Challenges in fighting corruption  ................................  85

 Suggested references
Appendix  i  
Appendix  ii
Appendix iii

PREFACE

A Fight for Dignity

To fight a monster which is everywhere and which grows seven new heads when you have cut one - that is a difficult task. This book looks at this monster from many angles; at a first glance, you may think it is a lifeless theory on that monster. But soon you realize that the authors are depicting a Kenyan reality which surrounds everybody every day.

At present, i.e. in July 2004, it looks like as if the hero who has promised to kill the monster is caught in its firm grip. Citizens and foreigners as well hold their breath and wonder what will happen next to the hero.

Of course, this book has not just been written to deliver a picture of a monster. By facing it and the damage caused by it, the authors scream to everyone: Do something! But what? How?

As the book correctly describes, institutions and laws are necessary for the fight against corruption. But who is supposed to make use of them? Persons. The poor kiosk owner, the mighty minister - and all ranks in between. The one needs civil courage to fight the pressure of corruption and the other has to apply his political will and to resist the temptation of corruption.

Corruption degrades us to slaves. By giving and by taking a bribe in its manifold forms - we do not only give money etc., but we are robbed of our dignity. The civil servant who demands 'tea' has not the satisfaction of properly done work; the employee who has gotten his job by doing a 'favour' cannot enjoy the merit of his capability. How can a minister whose house has been financed by an illegal deal get pleasure out of living in it? Every one loses his dignity. Or, maybe, this does not count?

A nation, a government, a citizen involved in corruption has no dignity. The fight against corruption is the fight for dignity. This fight can only be won by a citizen with civil courage and a politician with political will. This fight needs everybody; but it has to start with an individual - you and me.

Helmut Danner
Resident Representative Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung,
Nairobi

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Ecumenical Trust wishes to acknowledge the contributions of those who have made the production of this book possible. It is a contribution to the objectives of the Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace in promoting programmes which guarantee social justice, equitable distribution of resources, poverty eradication and self sustainance.
 
Our gratitude goes to the Hanns Seidel Foundation for its continued support to good political and corporate governance initiatives in this country and especially through civic education. The Foundation agreed to increase its support in civic education to enable the Centre to include the subject on the campaign to fight corruption in its seminars. The Foundation has supported the writing and printing of this book. The book will be used during the workshops and general readership. The Foundation's resident representative Dr. Helmut Danner has kindly agreed to write the preface. We are also grateful to him.

The authors, Barasa K. Nyukuri, Jephthah K. Gathaka, Silas Bururia and Wilfred Nyamu have spent long hours to bring this book into reality. At one point they almost gave up. However, they have worked as a team. Moderating then was not a simple task. We are grateful to them. We also thank Mr. Munir M. Mazrui, the Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of Muslims in Kenya for presenting a Muslim view and teaching on corruption. The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission has also provided us with their educational materials which we have used during the workshops.

The discussions arising from thse materials have enriched this book. The participants in the civic education workshops held in Turkana, Meru South, Mandera, Kwale, Lugari, Kiambu and Mwingi districts have discussed some of the issues which are included in this book. The subject was being facilitated by Mr. Osendo Con Omore and we acknowledge his role.

Last but not least we are grateful to our Administrative Assistant Ms. Susan Githu for her patience and hard work in typesetting the book.

Rev Jephthah Gathjaka, Director , ECJP

INTRODUCTION

Since 1990s corruption has pre-occupied public debate. Since then, various actions have been taken against corruption. Workshops and seminars have been held, laws and policies have been enacted and formulated, demonstrations have been held, institutions have been established, books and fact sheets have been published, researches have been carried, statements have been made, reports have been written, individuals have been prosecuted, songs have been composed and prayers have been recited, yet corruption is still prevalent and a major threat to social order.

This book is meant to compliment the efforts against corruption by providing information and enhancing the citizens’ skills. From previous experience, the writers are convinced that the war on corruption cannot be fought and won, unless the citizens are actively and effectively involved. The citizens can get involved in this war if they are convinced of the negative consequences of corruption to them as individuals, community and the country.

The book, therefore, examines the nature, causes, forms, dimensions, levels, types and effects of corruption in different spheres of life so as to empower the citizens to detect and desist from corrupt practices. The book also reviews the historical perspectives of corruption in the society. The purpose of this is to provide an understanding of the origins and spread of corruption since the 19th century. The book further highlights the various incidences of corruption in our day to day lives with a view of provoking attitudinal and behavioural change among leaders and ordinary citizens because in essence corruption is a moral issue more than anything else.

The initiatives and strategies undertaken by the previous and current governments and other stakeholders have been critically analyzed. The intention of doing so is to update the citizens with facts and expose loopholes and how the shortcomings in the initiatives have contributed to the failure to combat corruption. A framework of strategies and actions that could be undertaken by individuals, families, communities, non-governmental and community based organizations, trade unions, religious institutions, local authorities, private sector, the judiciary, the legislature, the executive and the international community has been formulated and included in the book as a checklist for intervention.

Lastly, the book concludes by warning the citizens and the leaders that the battle on corruption is complex and protracted, but nevertheless must be fought and won. Further, the writers outline the challenges ahead in fighting corruption and cautions that this war can never be won unless we firmly deal with issues of: lack of political goodwill, ineffective judicial systems, widespread poverty, limited resources, bad governance, bad leadership, weak and dependent institutions, moral decay and poor corporate governance.

The book is as a result of various civic education workshops which were conducted by the Centre during the last half of 2003 and first half of 2004. It is written for the future workshops and seminars as well as for general readership.

At the end of each chapter, the writers have provided simple questions that are meant to localize the debate on corruption by asking the readers to reflect on their actions, those of leaders and the community.

The book is dedicated to all Kenyans and their friends who are striving to fight corruption.

CHAPTER I

WHAT IS CORRUPTION

There is no single definition of the word corruption that is universally acceptable. Definitions of corruption have always depended on the perceptions from which one uses the word. This is because different societies at different times have different ways of looking at what is wrong and what is right. In this book, corruption has been defined as an abuse of office for private gains, abuse of the rule of law and acting contrary to the legitimate and moral expectations of society. In other words, corruption is an unfair means or process of accessing and controlling undeserved goods, positions and services in the society.

More often than not, corruption has been viewed as relating to the public office and/or public interest. However, corruption goes beyond the public office and public interest to cover the private aspects of life. For instance it involves looting, cheating, lying, manipulation, threats and exploitation of others and situations for selfish gains at the expense of the common good of the society.

The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission defines corruption as follows:

Corruption is the abuse of authority for personal advantage or for the advantage of another person or group. It can be found in every sphere of life and includes bribery, theft, embezzlement, fraud and evasion of payments of government revenue and taxes.

The Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act section 39, 44, 46 and 47 recognizes the following forms of corruption: Bribery, fraud, embezzlement, abuse of office, breach of trust and offence involving dishonesty.

The Act also discloses corruption as:

Where a person
Solicits for himself or any other person a bribe in any form like gift, loan, fee, reward, considerations or advantage as an inducement or reward for any officer or servant of a public body to do an act or omission in respect of any matter in which the public body is concerned.

Where a person
Receives or agrees to receive for himself or any other person a bribe in any form like gift, loan, fee, reward, considerations or advantage as an inducement or reward.

Where a person
Corruptly gives promises or offers a bribe in form of a gift, loan, fee, reward, considerations or advantage as an inducement or reward for any officer or servant of a public body to do an act or omission in respect of any matter in which the public body is concerned.

Where an agent
Corruptly accepts, obtains, or agrees to accept from any person for himself or any other persons bribe in form of gift, loan, fee, reward, considerations or advantage as an inducement or reward for an act or omission in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business.

Where a person
Corruptly gives or agrees to give or offers a bribe e.g. gift, fee, loan, reward, consideration or advantage for any act or omission in relation to his principal’s affairs or business.

Where a person
Knowingly gives to any agent or any agent knowingly uses with intent to deceive his principal any receipt, account or other document in respect of which the principal is interested and which contains any false information intended to mislead the principal.

Where a public servant
Solicits, accepts, obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain a bribe (e.g. gift, loan, fee, reward consideration or advantage) without lawful consideration which he has reason to believe to have been concerned in any matter with himself as a public servant or any connection with his official functions or that of any officer subordinate to him.

The above definition, though broad, is not all inclusive as it minimally targets corruption in the private sector and society in general. The definition also does not address the informal aspects of corruption which are rampant in the society and instead concentrates on the formal and structured forms of corruption.

Even the much publicized Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003, does not define corruption but simply identifies certain actions or omissions on the part of public officers and criminalizes them. It mainly confines corrupt acts to receiving, agreeing to receive, or soliciting some form of material advantage from someone for the performance or non-performance of public duty. Thus the Act revolves around the incidence of bribery in a public office. Therefore, the legal definition of corruption in Kenya is narrowed down to bribery in public office. No emphasis has been put on the private interest aspect of the phenomenon.

According to the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank

"Corruption is, in its simplest terms, the abuse of power, most often for personal gain or for the benefit of a group to which one owes allegiance. It can be motivated by greed, by the desire to retain or increase one’s power, or, perversely enough, by the belief in a supposed greater good……. While the term "corruption" is most often applied to abuse of public power by politicians or civil servants, it describes a pattern of behaviour that can be found in every sphere of life".

What emerges from the above definitions is that corruption is not an unknown phenomenon. It is a day to day manifestation in society through interactions and transactions.

"Does Lilly Bor know the difference between a bribe and a gift?" poses Stella Kiguta-Ng'anga. She adds: `In my understanding (and according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary), a bribe is a sum of money or services offered to somebody in return for some, often dishonest, help. A gift is defined as a thing given willingly without payment; a present'. Stella's urge to clarify follows Lilly's suggestion that Solomon Mukuha, who offered a police offcier Sh10,000 after he recovered his stolen handbag, should have been arrested for attempting to bribe the officer.
***********
"Adds Maty Kinyanjui: Solomon Mukuha did not bribe the policeman, but offered the money as a thank you token after a job well done. In my understanding, bribing is where you offer money in advance, so as to receive a favour from someone. A reward to someone who has done a good deed is NOT a bribe"

Courtersy: Daily Nation, The cutting edge, June 17, 2004

Questions for discussion
1. What comes in your mind when you hear the term corruption?
2. Are there any words in your vernacular or language that describe corruption? List them.

Printable Version

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s) and not do necessarily reflect the views of the AfricaFiles' editors and network members. They are included in our material as a reflection of a diversity of views and a variety of issues. Material written specifically for AfricaFiles may be edited for length, clarity or inaccuracies.

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