“Horrendous” Levels of Corruption in Kenya – Sex Toys Listed as Public Assets

Nicholas Gumbo, A leading parliamentarian in Kenyan tasked the Kanyan Government to take a strong stance on the horrendous levels of corruption in the Government. Gumbo explained his point by giving elaborate instances of corruption. Basic wheelbarrows had been expensed for $1,000, standard pens for $85 each and a desktop computer for $11,000.

The parliamentarian, Nicholas Gumbo, even said one government department had listed sex toys as public assets, implying that they were purchased with federal funds.

Kenyans have long complained about the insidious role corruption plays in their country — with everyone, such as traffic cops and ministers, on the take. When President Obama visited Nairobi earlier this year, he called corruption “the biggest impediment to Kenya growing even faster.” But the recent examples have been particularly enraging.

Gumbo demanded Wednesday that officials supply “procurement process reports to the committee to get the facts behind these frivolous procurements.”

One of the targets of the inquiry, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, deflected criticism that she had purchased a $17,000 television, arguing that the device also had computer-like capabilities.

“Kenyans were not told that it was a PC-cum-television,” Waiguru said in parliament.

According to the World Bank, GDP per capita in Kenya is just more than $1,300. In parts of northern Kenya, the child malnutrition rate is more than 20 percent, and families lack access to clean drinking water.

But in Nairobi, some government officials are known for their fancy tastes in cars and homes. Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, has called for an “unwavering war against corruption” but few here have seen the results.

“It boggles the mind that a mere pen should cost” $85, an editorial in Kenya’s Standard newspaper said.

As pressure on Waiguru mounted this week, she said that her ministry’s mistake might have been making the bookkeeping publicly accessible.

“Perhaps our transparency is our undoing,” Waiguru said during the parliament meeting. “Maybe we should have kept quiet. You wouldn’t have known.”

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