, 29 January, 2020 / 3:15 AM
Three months after Bishops in Kenya launched a nationwide six-months anti-corruption campaign, an initiative described as a big stride by faith-based leaders in fighting against corruption in their country, a Bishop in the East African nation has termed as “lamentable” the recent results by Transparency International (TI) ranking Kenya below the global average.
“It is indeed lamentable that a country as beautiful and popular as our Kenya should have sunk that low in matters corruption over the years,” Bishop John Oballa told ACI Africa in an interview referencing Kenya’s score of 28 out of 100 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a result that represents a fall below both the global average score of 43 and Sub-Saharan Africa’s average score of 32.
Since 1995, TI publishes CPI annually as an index that, according to Wikipedia, ranks nations across the globe “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessment and opinion surveys.”
The 2019 CPI published January 23 “ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people” on a scale of 0-100, with 0 counting as “highly corrupt” and 100 counting as “very clean.”
Referencing Kenya’s poor performance on the global scale, Bishop Oballa who Chairs the Catholic, Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) under the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) attributed the fall of Kenya in the 2019 CPI to corruption.
“If each and every one of us stands up to be counted and is committed to the fight against corruption, whatever form it takes, then the CPI for Kenya will read above average. This is our hope and prayer,” the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Ngong Diocese told ACI Africa in an interview January 25.
“We believe that if each one does their part in combating corruption, then the dragon can be slain. Indeed, there are rays of hope, even as we speak, that given the heightened anti-corruption campaign, awareness is being created at personal level,” Bishop Oballa who doubles as Vice-Chairman of KCCB said.
“It is possible to see Kenya improve remarkably, year by year,” the Kenyan Prelate said and added, “it requires work, personal commitment and courage to go against the current trend of greed and rot and replace it with stewardship and integrity.”
In his considered view, “It is possible to come out of the corruption zone fueled and sustained by bribery, ethnicity, nepotism, impunity and pure disregard for rule of law and sense of morality.”
“As the Catholic Church, we are committed to promoting at all levels a concerted effort to take the fight against corruption head on. With God's help, because the war is His, we shall overcome. This is our hope and prayer,” the 61-year-old Bishop emphasized.
Referencing the poor performance of Sub-Saharan Africa in the CPI, the Bishop said, “Coming out of corruption zone or not is a choice that Sub-Saharan Africa has to make sooner rather than later, if the global Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International is anything to go by.”
According to TI, Sub-Saharan Africa is “the lowest-scoring region on the CPI, with an average of 32,” a performance that “paints a bleak picture of inaction against corruption.”
The top five countries in the region include Seychelles (66), Botswana (61), Cape Verde (58), Rwanda (53), and Mauritius (52). Countries at the bottom include Somalia (9), South Sudan (12), Sudan (16) and Equatorial Guinea (16).
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa