Wed. Feb 20th, 2019

56% of citizens would take bribes to vote for leaders

With just 163 days to go to the August 8 general election, a study has revealed that the choices of more than half of the voters will likely be influenced by bribery.
The survey conducted in December last year by Konrad Adenauer Foundation, in partnership with the Centre for Multi-party Democracy, shows 56 per cent of Kenyans admitted
to have ever been bribed by an aspirant to vote for them.
This would mean about 9.5 million eligible voters will cast their ballot for a candidate who bribes them, going by preliminary data from IEBC that about 19.1 million eligible voters will participate in the polls.
The study, titled ‘Voter bribery as an election malpractice in Kenya’, was conducted in Bomet, Kakamega, Kiambu, Kilifi, Kisumu, Machakos, Meru, Migori, Nakuru and Trans Nzoia.
A total of 514 respondents were interviewed in a process that involved mobilising aspirants and opinion shapers in targeted counties to engage in open discussions.
According to the study, Bomet county had the highest number of people who admitted receiving bribes from political aspirants at 64.71 per cent, followed by Kisumu {60.87%}, Nakuru {60.66%}, Kakamega {58.78%}, Kilifi {56.92%}, Trans Nzoia {55.36%}, Kiambu {52.38%}, Machakos { 51.06%}, Meru {50%} and Migori {41.51%}.
“The poor are the most affected and if you ask they received just Sh50,” said Konrad Adenauer Foundation country representative Dr Jan Cernicky.
Cernicky said bribery has become a vicious cycle every election year because the bribes are too little to pull anyone out of poverty.
“Another consequence is that politicians see the need to recover the bribe after they are elected, meaning they can’t deliver quality services to the society. As a consequence,
they remain poor.”
The study identified political party leaders, aspirants, political party agents and even voters themselves as people who mostly engage in bribery.