Saturday, November 26, 2011

How to Slay a Monster (or Not): Anti-Corruption Reforms in Botswana and Kenya


Since the early 90’s there has been a great deal of attention placed on what Tanzi (1998) referred to as the “phenomenon” of corruption, others have referred to it as the “monster” (Githongo, 2007). In countries big and small, democratic and dictatorial, global north or global south, market oriented or otherwise, the issue of corruption vaulted from the systemic to the institutional agenda (Tanzi, 2008). Tanzi argues that this “new” found attention to a problem that is as old as organized nation-state, can be traced to a number of interrelated factors: the end of the cold war and the era of satellites meant that condoning the acts of third world kleptocrats was no longer a “strategic concern’, consider the case of Mobutu Sese Seko’s wanton pillaging of Zaire’s (now Democratic Republic of Congo) all with the quiescence of the west, as Zaire was considered a strategic bulwark against the East. The fall of the East and the concomitant spread of democratic norms led to an increase in the demand for more accountable and transparent governments, as did, the increasing level of international trade which opened up ester while closed nations to international norms. As part of this broader internationalization of good governance norms, there were the efforts of non-governmental organizations such as the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Transparency International (TI), in publicizing the problems of corruption and demanding institutional reforms (Lawson, 2009). These political, international factors combined with a general with economic changes served to heighten the interest in corruption: “The post cold war interest in corruption thus, reflects an increase in the scope of the phenomenon and a greater awareness of an age-old phenomenon” (Tanzi, 1998:564). It is no wonder that Corruption became such a seminal issue in the early 90’s and as we shall see later, it was around this time period that it vaulted to the institutional agendas of both country’s considered in this paper.

This paper aims to interrogate the responses of Botswana and Kenya to the corruption monster; both countries endured a series of public corruption scandals in the early 1990’s, but responded in markedly different ways to this issue. Botswana’s efforts have been broadly successful, while those of Kenya have been ineffectual. This paper shall investigate the policy outputs of both nations, articulate the broad outcomes and conclude with a consideration of the underlying reasons for the success and failure for these efforts.
Corruption Definition and Effects:
The most accepted and oft referred to definition of corruption is provided by the WB: “The abuse of entrusted public power for private benefit.” (Mbao & Komboni, 2008:53). Corruption, however, is not limited to individual benefit and can include class, tribe, political party and familial benefits (Taylor, 2006). It encompasses simple financial transactions (bribes), but extends to misuse of public assets, conflicts of interest, misuse of confidential information, outright looting of resources and other acts of venality (Gbadamosi, 2006). A more normative, comprehensive and damning definition of corruption is provided by Mulinge and Lesetedi (2002: 52): “ A form of anti-social behavior by an individual or social group that confers unjust or fraudulent benefits on its perpetrators, is inconsistent with the established legal norms and prevailing moral ethos of the land and is likely to subvert or diminish the capacity of the legitimate authorities to provide fully for the material and spiritual well-being of all members of society in a just and equitable manner.”

Mulinge and Lesetedi’s definition also provides us clues into the effects or consequences of corruption. Primary amongst these is the weakening of accountability of state officials and reduction of transparency of state institutions (Mbao & Komboni, 2008). Corruption subverts the legitimacy of and the trust in state officials and organs (Gbadamosi, 2006). Distorts public expenditures (increasing outlays) and diminishes public revenues (tax evasion), leading to eternal deficits and poor fiscal performance (Tanzi, 1998). Critically it retards efforts aimed at improving the social welfare of the populace: “Think of the jobs, the infrastructure, the improved educational system and enhanced democratic institutions the looted funds could provide if they were redirected from the personal enrichment of the corrupt to the public service of the people. It is widely acknowledged that as a result of the siphoning off of these large sums from the coffers of the developing countries…most of these [are now] failed states, unable to perform even ordinary state functions, including providing water, electricity and adequate housing for their populations.” (Mbonu, 2003:7).

The most insidious effect of corruption is the havoc it plays on the moral core of a nation, where societal norms and values are eviscerated and contorted beyond recognition and charlatans promoted at the expense of honest behavior: :When there are many corrupt individuals in the society, it becomes optimal to be corrupt….This way corrupt behavior becomes the equilibrium behavior or the social norm…the pervasiveness of corruption gives individuals little cause to feel guilty about their own behavior…” (Lawson, 2009:74-75). Corruption at these levels becomes a cancer in the society, a hard habit to break, endemic and part and parcel of the moral fabric of the community.

Causes and Explanations:
Corruption thrives in conditions where there is a monopoly of power, high discretionary power and limited oversight (Lawson, 2009). In countries where citizens have to rely on government authorization for all manner of activities (monopoly), and final authorization limited centralized in the hands of one individual (discretion) and with little oversight of decisions (accountability), corruption is likely to thrive (Gbadamosi, 2006). The absence of a diffuse institutional structure, transparent rules and regulations, and ample checks and balances is an anathema to democratic practices and is a necessary condition for the development of corrupt practices (Tanzi, 1998).

From an economic perspective there exist a number of potential conditions or triggers that could provide opportunities for corruption to develop: Mbao and Komboni (2006) argue that rapid economic growth and development can encourage and facilitate the development of opportunities for individuals to benefit from increasing state wealth. The opposite, case could also be true, Theobald and Williams (1999) illustrate the case of Tanzania which in the 1970’s had a relatively good record on corruption, but where in the 1980’s and 90’s after economic collapse and high inflation, a pervasive system of rent-seeking from top politicians down to lowly clerks and policemen developed. Though not direct causes of corruption; economic factors can precipitate a culture of corruption as individuals scramble to get their piece of the pie.

Taylor (2006) provides us with a possible cultural explanation for why corruption rises in certain contexts, revolving around patron-client networks that develop in transitional countries. He argues that neo-patrimonialism is an inherent characteristic of African cultures, where a reliance on “big men” was and continues to be an important part of the culture. Theobald and Williams (1998:127) also provide a “tribal” based explanation, focused primarily on the type of ethnic dynamics that existed prior to and after colonialism, they argue that: “Complex peasant societies…where relations of surplus appropriation and exploitation were well advanced prior to [and accentuated during] colonialism…” led to post-colonial states where by predatory tendencies which rose to “pathological levels during periods of rapid social and economic change…” In these cauldron of complex tribal relations a desire to agglomerate as much of the resources for ones “people” was supreme (Githongo, 2007), there does some to be some face validity to the contention that heterogeneous societies are more prone to corruption than more homogenous nations, case in point Kenya, Nigeria as opposed to Botswana and Nigeria.

The conditions that need to exist for corruption to thrive are varied and include those briefly articulated above as well as: level of public sector wages; quality of the bureaucracy; political stability; and the example set by the leadership (Tanzi, 1999; Mulinge and Lesetedi, 2002).[1] There exist cultural, political, institutional and economic causes all mixed together in a complex interplay, though not deterministic they have been found in the most corrupt nations.

Measuring Corruption:
There exists no clear strategy or agreed upon framework for the measurement of corruption, current methods rely on: media and watchdog reports of corruption; internal government audits; case studies of corrupt agencies and survey based reports. The latter is the most popular methodology, focused on measuring the “perception” of corruption rather than actual corruption. The perceptions of business people, citizens, risk analysts and academics can provide useful baselines for gauging corruption levels, these individuals are involved in daily interactions with government entities and are familiar with what it takes to conduct business and whether corrupt practices are necessary. There are two particularly useful surveys of corruption, the African Bureaucratic Structure Survey (ABSS), focuses on business people and gauges the level (and frequency) with which irregular payments must be paid to get things done. The ABSS ranks nations as corruption being “non-existent” (Botswana, Namibia) where virtually no bribes are paid, to “Prevalent” (Kenya, Nigeria and Togo) where most transactions need a bribe (Gbadamosi, 2006).

The best known, comprehensive and most publicized survey is TI’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The CPI is composite score based on the results of a series of surveys (typically four) conducted in each country observed. The survey’s gauge the perception of corruption amongst: business people, risk analysts, academics and citizens (Tanzi, 1998). The CPI is reported on a range of 0 to 10, where 10 refers to a country that is virtually corruption free and 0 refers to a country where most transactions and government activities are tainted with corruption. The CPI focuses not just on “bribes paid” but on an overall assessment of corruption levels in government.

In most surveys and indices on corruption, African states are well represented at the lower or negative ends of the scale. However, one country, Botswana, has consistently been ranked within the top fifth of least corrupt nations in the world. Since the CPI’s inception Botswana has averaged a score of 5.9 and consistently ranked as least corrupt in Africa, it has been described as an: “Oasis in a desert of corruption” (Theobald and Williams, 1999: 117) Kenya on the other hand has consistently been ranked in the lower fifth of the global rankings and bottom (or close to it) of African rankings, averaging a 2.0 composite score.

Policy Responses:
In the early 1990’s a series of scandals in Botswana and Kenya precipitated government efforts to deal with corruption in bother countries, what follows is a description of these scandals (impetuses) and the policy responses to them.

Botswana has been universally praised for its excellent record of political governance exemplified by its relatively functional multi-party democracy, since independence in 1966. Botswana is the only African country that has held regular democratic elections - though dominated by one party – (Theobald and Williams, 1999; Mbao and Komboni, 2008). This record of political stability and governance has been undergirded by exceptional economic performance, catapulting Botswana from the ranks of least developed nations at independence to middle income status in a short three decades (Gbadamosi, 2006). Botswana has, for the most part, been an exceptional model for other African countries.
In the early 1990’s, however, a series of scandals threatened to besmirch Botswana’s stellar record. These scandals served as the catalysts for a government effort to comprehensively and effectively deal with corruption.

The first scandal broke in 1991 and revolved around the procurement of primary school books and materials. It was found that the company that received the government tender to provide these goods neither had neither the technical capacity nor financial wherewithal to execute its obligations (Mbao and Komboni, 2008). The tender had been fraudulently awarded and cost the government $14 million (Theobald and Williams, 1999). The second scandal – 1992 – involved the illegal sale of land in the outskirts of the capital Gaborone to cabinet members (the then vice presidents and minister for local government), members of parliament and high ranking government bureaucrats (Gbadamosi, 2006). The scandal culminated with the resignation of both ministers and bureaucrats. In 1993 a Presidential Commission into the activities of the Botswana Housing Corporation identified high level collusion between politicians, bureaucrats and construction companies, in the construction of the company’s headquarters and high cost homes for those involved, resulting in the loss of “tens of millions of Pula (local currency)” (Theobald 7 Williams, 1999:118). The final straw was the near collapse of the National Development Bank due to non-performing loans head by political influential people, including the then president (Kethumile Masire) and his family.

These scandals strengthened the general perception that rapid economic expansion had brought in its wake an expanded menu of opportunities for corruption in the public service (Gbadamosi; Theobald & Williams). In response to the moral outcry that followed these scandals and the perceived damage they had on the image of Botswana, the government took strong and aggressive action to tackle corruption.

The Corruption and Economic Crimes Act (CECA) 1994
In 1994 the government of Kethumile Masire crafted and published the CECA, this act provided the foundation, on which the anti-corruption efforts of Botswana would rest, it provided for the broad definition of corruption and economic crimes, identified stiff penalties for contravention of the law and established the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). The DCEC was charged with the overall co-ordination of anti-corruption efforts, investigation, prosecution, prevention of corrupt acts and civic education.

The DCEC was modeled after Hong Kong’s effective Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC); the extent of the modeling was so complete that the first director and three assistant directors of the DCEC were members of ICAC higher management (Gbadamosi, 2006). DCEC also adopted ICAC’s three pronged strategy and organized its activities similarly, this strategy focuses on: investigation and prosecution, amassing evidence of corrupt activities and recommending prosecution to the Attorney General; Prevention focuses on active review of existing government structures and process to proactively identify loopholes prone to corruption, prevention activities (for example) led to a complete revamping of the Motor vehicle department and computerization of its activities (Theobald & Williams); Public education involves the development of materials and programs to inculcate a culture of zero tolerance to corruption in the public sector and society at large.

Since its inception the DCEC has conducted a large number of investigations that have resulted in the prosecution and conviction of public servants. Its efforts have largely been construed to be effective, militating against the entrenchment of corrupt practices, inculcating a zero tolerance for corruption and serving as a model for other African nations. However, there have been concerns expressed that the DCEC has primarily targeted low level functionaries, while “big fish” escape (Theobald & Williams). Tied to this are concerns about the fact that DCEC is not an entity independent of the executive, reporting as it does to the presidents office (though this could be a double edged sword meaning that it has direct access to the president and has the significant weight of his office to compel action). In addition there have been structural delays due to the criminal justice system: all prosecutions must be approved by the Attorney General and the Court system is considered to be unnecessarily laborious (Mbao & Komboni).

Kenya was once considered a rising nation, in the first two decades of its existence there was modest economic growth (Githongo, 2007) and the government was considered to be effective in its activities. Unlike Botswana, however, Kenya has not had a long tradition with democratic government; the first president (Jomo Kenyatta) abrogated the independence constitution by declaring Kenya a one-party state in 1968 a condition that persisted until 1992. As the dictatorial rule of Kenyatta (1963 – 1978) and his predecessor Daniel Moi (1978 – 2002) took hold a broad system of patronage took hold in Kenya, it took the form of a national slogan “Harambee” or united effort. Though initially conceived of as a positive effort, this policy degenerated into a patronage scheme which Kenyatta, Moi and there minions used to spread patronage and maintain power (Githongo, 2007). Otieno (2005:75) notes a 2002 study that found that “Most MPs often-spent more than they earned on various ‘donations,’ raising the question of where they found the additional funds and what trade-offs were involved.” Corruption was well entrenched in Kenyan government before the scandal that precipitated government action ever came to light.

As noted earlier, corruption was not a major international or Kenyan concern during the cold war era, however, the increasing attention paid to the issue by the IMF and WB and one egregious corruption scandal, served to catapult the issue into Kenya’s institutional agenda. The 1991-1993 Goldenberg scandal (which came to light in 1996) revolved around a deal between the Central Bank of Kenya and a shadowy businessman. According to the deal the businessman was to remit $50 million annually to the Banks in return for a monopoly on gold and diamond exports (of which Kenya is a non-producer) and 35% compensation on the exports (Lawson, 2009; Taylor, 2006). The businessman proceeded to export fictional commodities to fictional companies that paid for them in fictional foreign exchange (Lawson, 2009); the government then proceeded to pay the 35% compensation on fraudulent claims, which the businessman proceeded to share with his official accomplices (Taylor, 2006).

The total loss to the Kenyan exchequer is not fully known, however estimates range from a conservative $600 million (Lawson, 2009; Taylor, 2006) to $1billion (Githongo, 2007; Otieno, 2005). The then Vice President and Minister of Finance were both implicated in the scandal, as were, high ranking bureaucrats in the ministry of finance and the Central bank. This scandal has never been fully adjudicated and remains unresolved, the politicians involved never suffered any real repercussions (both are still government ministers to this day), the bureaucrats and business man were charged by the Attorney General, but their cases languished in court and we eventually dismissed by the courts (Taylor, 2006).
Kenya’s policy responses to corruption can be categorized into two eras: Moi era (1997 – 2002) and the president Mwai Kibaki era (2003 – present).

Moi Era Reforms:
Unlike Botswana which took strong decisive and legislative action to deal with the scandals it had faced, as well as, tackling the corruption monster, Kenya took a more ad hoc approach. There was the 1996 (under immense international pressure) setting up of the Anti-Corruption Police Unit (ACPU), one could not fail but notice the irony of setting up anti-corruption unit in one of the most corrupt institutions in Kenya (Kibwana et al. 2001). This effort was followed by the December 1997 band-aid amendment to the colonial era Prevention of Corruption Act of 1957. This effort was only undertaken after considerable outcry about the ineffectiveness of the ACPU and immense pressure from the donor community, especially the suspension of budgetary assistance from the IMF (Kibwana et al. 2001).

The 1997 amendment established the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA), it was somewhat modeled after the DCEC (Taylor, 2006) and charged with the investigation and prosecution of corrupt individuals, as well as, development of public education programs to highlight the ills of corruption. KACA begun its operations inauspiciously, first the president appointed a politically connected individual to be its director and did so contrary to the provisions of the amendment establishing KACA. This was followed by a protracted legal battle on the suitability of the director, at the same time that KACA was engaged in internecine bureaucratic battles over personnel and budgetary allocations, as it was formed in the middle of a financial year and with no funds allocated (Kibwana et al, 2001). In 1999 the first director was deemed to have been unsuitable and irregularly appointed (by the Courts). The next appointed judge was a sitting judge; his tenure was received with cautious optimism, though the bureaucratic and political wrangling that brought down the first director still existed (Kibwana et al. 2001).

KACA was somewhat effective in its activities in 1999 and early 2000, a number of cases were brought to court, the most significant being a case against a minister, his wife and a permanent secretary. This case precipitated the eventual down fall of KACA. The aforementioned minister brought a case to the constitutional court questioning the constitutionality of KACA based on two factors: the director was a sitting judge which contravened the separation of powers doctrine and the constitutionality of prosecutions not undertaken by the Attorney General (Kibwana et al). The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and the activities of KACA were effectively halted. The president did reconstitute the ACPU in 2001, but this was seen as an attempt to simply punt the ball to the next administration.
At the end of the Moi administration the anti-corruption reforms had come to naught. Almost all anti-corruption efforts undertaken were done saw under duress and with an eye at placating the donor community. Some of this aid was released in 2000, but the spigot was quickly shut off after KACA was declared unconstitutional. The government did publish (though not attempt to pass) two pieces of legislations that would have been more robust, the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Bill 2001 and the Public Service Code of Ethics Bill 2001. Both bills never saw the light of day and were left for the new administration to revive.

Kibaki Era:
Kenya’s first fully fair and democratic elections were held in 2002 (Moi was term limited) and were a full throated rejection of Moi’s legacy of corruption and mismanagement (Otieno, 2005)[2]. President Mwai Kibaki came to power on December 31st 2002 with grand promises of a zero tolerance to corruption. His government instituted a number of rapid policy changes to deal with corruption; the first was the creation of a Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, mandated with the co-ordination of anti-corruption efforts and spearheading the enactment of laws to facilitate the war against corruption. This move was supplemented with the creation of the Permanent Secretary for Government Ethics, who reported directly to the president and had a chair at the cabinet. The president appointed John Githongo immediate former head and founder of the Kenyan chapter of Transparency International, a man who had been a gadfly to the previous regime and had the domestic and international bona fides as anti-corruption warrior (Lawson, 2009; Otieno, 2005). These initial moves were seen as exceptional steps in the right direction and as illustrations of the commitment Kibaki had to slaying the corruption monster.

Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act (ACEA) 2003 & Public Officer Ethics Act (POEA) 2003:
In June 2003 the new parliament passed the ACEA, which aimed to develop the foundations for a full throttled and frontal attack on corruption. The act established the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC), which was mandated to investigate corruption and economic crimes, recommend prosecution of those found to be corrupt, conduct prevention activities to close loopholes in government processes, conduct public education on corruption and work to recover corruptly acquired assets and property (TI-Kenya, 2009). The POEA developed a code of ethics for all public officers and requires that all public officers declare their wealth (Lawson, 2009) though information is to remain confidential.

These executive and legislative efforts were supplemented with Ad-hoc investigation commissions to review past misdeeds. The two most important were the Bosire commission on the Goldenberg scandal and the Ndung’u commission on illegal and irregular land allocations (Otieno, 2005). These commissions were charged with getting to the proverbial bottom of some of the most egregious acts of the past administrations, the Ndung’u report “lists beneficiaries of illicit land transactions and demonstrated clearly the web of complicity that implicates large sections of the Kenyan elite of whatever political color in plundering the country’s resources” (Otieno, 2005:71). The commission found, for example, that approximately 299.000 hectares of forest land had been illegally exorcised.
The first year of the Kibaki administrations was by and large a year of action, passage of critical laws, hiring of key personnel and showing a great deal of political will. However, these efforts were greatly besmirched by the coming to light of the Anglo-Leasing scandal in 2004. This scheme has its origins in the previous administration, but was seamlessly transferred to the Kibaki’s government. It involved the government’s procurement of goods (tamper proof passports and a forensics laboratory) and services (a database immigration database) that were paid for, but never received from a fictitious company (Taylor, 2006; Lawson, 2009; Otieno, 2005; Githongo, 2007). The total amount lost in these transactions was $90 million (Taylor, 2006). Three cabinet ministers were implicated in the scheme, as were the permanent secretaries in the ministries of defense, finance and immigration, this scandal largely undid all that had been accomplished in the first year.

In mid 2004 after the scandal broke and as Githongo and KACC were investigating the issue, the president attempted to move Githongo from the office of the president to the Ministry of Justice, a move seen as an attempt to marginalize Githongo (Taylor, 2006). In January 2005 after months of bureaucratic infighting and threats to his life (Githongo, 2007), Githongo resigned his post and fled the country. In March 2005 KACC recommended the prosecution of five bureaucrats mentioned in the Anglo Leasing scandal, however, once the cases were brought to court they were bogged down by judicial procedures. In January 2006, Githongo released a narrative report and tape recordings of his investigation into Anglo Leasing, implicating the three ministers (one on tape) in corruption and obstruction of justice. The three ministers summarily tendered their resignations to “clear their names’ (Lawson, 2009:81). In March 2006 KACC recommended prosecution of two of the three former ministers, however, the Attorney General rejected the investigations as flimsy, KACC then summarily closed its investigation and prosecutions of the Anglo Leasing affair (Lawson, 2009). By July 2007 two of the three ministers (and all the bureaucrats) had returned to government service and the former minister was intimately involved in the Kibaki’s re-election efforts (Lawson, 2009).

The good will engendered by the election of president Kibaki and generated by his early anti-corruption efforts had been squandered in the span of eighteen months, a far too common occurrence in developing countries: “Countries attempting a transition from an unaccountable and corrupt past has shown that, for a short period, extensive public support and confidence can facilitate the rapid implementation of a range of far-reaching measures. While Kenya saw a series of dramatic moves in the first year of the new regime, there was little follow through and a stop-start approach appeared to give corrupt elements room to regroup and to recruit enthusiastic new adherents from among the ranks of the new government.” (Otieno, 2005:74)

Considering the foregoing discussion, we can identify a number of factors that contributed to the success of Botswana’s efforts and tripped up Kenya’s efforts. Principal among these is the nature and extent of the problem, corruption never reached endemic proportions in Botswana (Mbao & Komboni, 2008). In Kenya corruption in some shape or form had been part and parcel of the government since independence, and extended its reach into the social fabric of the society. Estimates of its impact in Kenya range from $3billion to $11billion (Lawson, 2009), these are enormous sums of money and were not stolen in a few years.

However, considering the scope and depth of the problem (and the near universal acknowledgment of it), it would seem that Kenya would have had more motivation to deal with the issue. And herein lies another crucial difference between the two nations, Botswana’s leaders led by the Kethumile Masire and his predecessors, have shown a great deal of commitment to fighting corruption, this sense of zero tolerance extends from the top to the bottom of Botswana government and society (Gbadamosi, 2006). This commitment from the top has been absent in Kenya, as illustrated by Moi’s and Kibaki’s rehabilitation of tainted ministers and failure to effectively fund and administer the anti-corruption efforts.
This reluctance is also tied to the external locus of reform initiatives. Both Kenyan presidents have pushed anti-corruption mainly in response to donor pressure and a desire to unlock frozen aid (Otieno, 2005; Lawson, 2009). Botswana’s efforts were largely homegrown and there was buy-in at the top and through the government, as Kibwana et al (2001:13) note: “While there are actions required from all at the international level, the struggle to contain corruption at the national level is essentially a domestic task and the fight must come from within. External actors can only assist the process, but for it to be effective and enduring it must be locally owned, devised and drive,” (emphasis added).

The design of the institutions charged with anti-corruption efforts is another element. The DCEC, by statute and practice is a very powerful entity that can compel bureaucratic action and having penalties (fines, imprisonment) for failure to comply. The organization has been imbued with a great sense of mission and is populated by experienced and dedicated personnel. KACC on the other hand is ever involved in bureaucratic battles over its funding, and trying to justify its existence (Lawson, 2009). It lacks the requisite legal authority to compel action and has to a large extent been marginalized by powerful forces in the government (Lawson, 2009). No corruption effort can be successful if conducted by an ineffective and emasculated anti-corruption agency.

Corruption is an evil that touches all corners of the globe; it has multiple causes and numerous negative impacts on the political, economic and social fabric of a country. To slay the monster, a great deal of effort and care must be taken into designing home grown efforts that are stringent and serve to make venality a high-risk low-reward enterprise. Based on a number of indices and general consensus, Botswana has managed to develop such a system, one that spreads a culture of zero tolerance not only in the public sector, but private realms as well. Its success has come from clear understanding of the problem, design of concrete and enabled institutions to fight corruption and an unyielding commitment by the top leadership. These elements have, thus far, been lacking in Kenya and have contributed to its continual low performance on corruption indices.


Gbadamosi, G (2006): “Corruption Perception and Sustainable Development: Sharing Botswana’s Anti-Graft Agency Experiences.” South Africa Journal of Economics and Management Studies. April 2006

Githongo, J (2007) “Kenya’s Fight Against Corruption: An Uneven Path to Political Accountability.” Cato Institute Development Policy Briefing No. 2

Kibwana, K; Akivaga, K; Mute, L and Odhiambo, M (eds) (2001) Inititatives Against Corruption in Kenya: Legal and Policy Initiatives, 1995 – 2001. Nairobi: Claripress

Lawson, L (2009): “The Politics of Anti-Corruption Reform in Africa” Journal of Modern African Studies, 47(1)

Mbao, L and Komboni, G (2008): “Promotion of Good Governance and Combating Corruption and Maladministration: The Case of Botswana.” Law, Democracy & Development 12(1)

Mbonu, C (2003): “Corruption and its Impact on the Full Enjoyment of Human Rights, in Particular Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.” United Nations Economic and Social Council

Mulinge, M and Lesetedi, G (2002): “Corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa: Towards a More Holistic Approach.” African Journal of Political Science 7(1)

Otieno, G (2005): “The Narc’s Anti-Corruption Drive in Kenya: Somewhere Over the Rainbow?” African Security Review 14(4)

Tanzi, V (1998): “Corruption Around the World: Causes, Consequences, Scope and Cures.” Staff Papers-International Monetary Fund 45(4)

Taylor, S (2006): “Divergent Politico-Legal Responses to Post Presidential Corruption in Zambia and Kenya: Catching the ‘Big Fish’ or letting him off the hook?” Third World Quarterly 27(2)

Theobald, R and Williams, R (1999): “Combating Corruption in Botswana: Regional Role Model or Deviant Case.” Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 37(3)

Transparency International: “Corruption Perception Indices 2001 – 2010”

Transparency International – Kenya (2009): “Corruption Trends Analysis: Tracing Corruption Trends in Kenya’s Public Sector.”

[1] Mulinge and Lesetedi also provide and interesting and comprehensive discussion of the linkages between Colonial policies and the state of affairs in Africa. These focus on the accentuation of “tribal” factors, introduction of the bureaucratic state, and monetary inducements to former chiefs et cetera.

[2] Though not on the ballot Moi had picked his preferred successor (and son of former president Kenyatta), imposed him on his party and tried to do the same to the country. Members of his party defected to the opposition, which for the first time had united behind one candidate. The defections and unity guaranteed a win for the opposition.


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