In the Africa at LSE blog, PfAL5 candidate Carolyne Waraga looks at the challenges facing the Kenya President as he tackles corruption in his government.

Once again, Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has come under severe criticism for escalating levels of corruption. Recently, the Ministry of Devolution and Planning faced a second scandal in a span of six months that involved procuring pens at the price of $85 each. When the former Cabinet Secretary was questioned, she said she was neither aware of the transaction nor responsible for procurement issues in the ministry. This culture of ‘it wasn’t me’ has been thriving. Even some citizens seem to have accepted that corruption will always happen and have given up on demanding accountability from their leaders. Commenting on the latest revelations, a security guard summed it up this way: ‘even if leaders are to steal they should steal just a little’.

There has however been some internal and external pressure for the government to show commitment in fighting against graft. International donors, trading partners and the civil society have mounted pressure on Kenyatta’s administration. This comes after Barack Obama’s trip to the country when the US President declared corruption as a cancer that needs to be dealt with followed by a similar plea from Pope Francis during his recent visit in November 2015. In a bid to show commitment, Kenyatta has reshuffled the cabinet and removed all officials whose graft has been exposed. He emphasised that he wants a clean-hands government in order to encourage international companies and investors who have previously been deterred from doing business in Kenya as a result of corruption. Observers say that this reshuffle is a political move to secure the 2017 general election which is perceived to depend on the government’s performance.

Read the full article on the Africa at LSE blog.