[JURIST] A report [text] released Thursday by Transparency International (TI) [advocacy website] named Burundi as the most corrupt East-African nation, with a corruption index of 36.7 percent. Also cited by TI for having high rates of corruption were Uganda, with a rate of 33 percent, Kenya at 31.9 percent and Tanzania at 28.6 percent. The survey was expanded this year to include both Burundi and Rwanda. Rwanda was named the least corrupt state in the region, with the incidence of corruption being 6.6 percent. TI found that, apart from Rwanda, corruption in the region significantly impedes the ability of local governments to provide adequate public services. Corruption was found to be prevalent throughout the governments, with particularly problematic areas including security services and the judiciary. The Executive-Director for TI noted the importance of ending corruption in the region stating, “East African countries need to scrutinize their service delivery mechanisms with the objective of rooting out practices such as corruption that are impeding the accessibility of basic services. This will promote equality, development and the reduction of poverty in the region.” TI also highlighted the limited reporting of corruption in the countries, indicating that the problem could be more wide-spread than the report suggests.
Kenya had previously been ranked as the most corrupt country in the region, with a 2009 rate of corruption at 45 percent. In 2008, two judges of Kenya’s High Court were fired from their positions [JURIST report] after two investigatory tribunals found them guilty of corruption. In 2007, Kenyan lawmakers approved a bill [JURIST report] that would have limited the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) [official website] to investigating crimes committed after 2003. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] refused to sign the bill [JURIST report], which would have made it impossible for the commission to continue investigations into some of the country’s most notorious corruption cases. In a report issued by TI in 2007, lawyers were ranked among the most corrupt groups [JURIST report] in Kenya.