Thursday, October 28, 2010

Random News Generator- Kenya

Recently, Transparency International released their Corruption Perceptions Index, something they've done annually since 1995. It is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin: every country they can get enough information on- 178 of them in this case- is given a score between 0 and 10, 10 being best.

The least corrupt nations on Earth, according to their methodology, are Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore, which all garnered a 9.3. Somalia is most corrupt, at 1.1, followed by Afghanistan and Myanmar, each scoring 1.4.

Tied for 154th, at 2.1, along with Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Russia and Tajikistan, is today's stop on the Random News Generator, Kenya.

It doesn't say why exactly, for them or anyone else, but one would think a country where anti-corruption official Suru Tanna was just shot by "three men who stole a mobile phone and a jacket" is not likely to score very highly.

There have been efforts to stem the tide of corruption, but it's a hard slog. Some officials have gone to trial, only for technicalities to gum up the works. One of those set to stand trial, Minister for Higher Education William Ruto, faces charges of an illegal land deal to the Kenya Pipeline Corporation. Another, Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula, has been forced out over the buying and selling of foreign embassies. In addition, the mayor of Nairobi, Geophrey Majiwa, faces charges over the purchase of land for a cemetary; that news is just breaking.

That's not all. Not even close. Bribes have been handed out to military recruits. Bribes have been handed to police by the public as a prerequisite for doing their jobs. Fraud is being investigated at the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union, which accuses the investigating committee of attempting to "kill" it. The Immigration Ministry is under scrutiny for how it handles routine matters such as birth and death registration. The healthcare system makes America's look well-run and ethical. The national soccer federation caused FIFA to briefly suspend Kenya in 2004 from international competition. And it should go without saying that a 2008 election had its share of corruption, as well as violence.

At some point, all one can do is laugh at it all.

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