Kenya dropped on the global corruption index in 2018, signalling that business leaders' perception of graft in the country remains unchanged despite the ongoing prosecution of high-profile suspects.
Watchdog Transparency International’s latest report put Kenya at position 144, down from 143, out of 180 countries.
Kenya attained a score of 27 points out of 100, down from 28 in a ranking that runs from zero, which is highly corrupt, to 100 for very clean.
Dozens of Kenyan government officials and business people have appeared in court since May on charges relating to the alleged theft of billions of shillings from public coffers in a new drive to tackle widespread graft.
The renewed fight against corruption was expected to lift Kenya’s ranking.
“Some of the key institutions in the anti-corruption chain have faced significant challenges including budgetary deficits that impede optimal performance. The weaknesses in these three pillars need to be addressed to turn the tide against corruption,” said TI Kenya executive director Samuel Kimeu. No high profile convictions have been made following the renewed drive with the police and prosecution blaming courts for issuing lenient orders and bail terms.
The Judiciary has challenged the prosecution to present water-tight cases. Managers of top State firms like the National Health Insurance Fund, Kenya Power and Kenya Pipeline Company have been charged with abuse of office in connection with the loss of funds.