Kenya has improved its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) according to the latest report published by Transparency International.

It is not all good news, however, as the improvement is quite marginal with Kenya remaining in the red zone. With a score of 28 percent, the country jumped two positions from position 145 in 2016 to position 143 out of 180 in 2017.

The annual report which ranks nations on a scale of 1 to 100 – 1 being the most corrupt – indicates a 2 percent improvement from 26 percent in 2016.

Within the East African Community region, Kenya ranked behind Rwanda and Tanzania respectively, beating Uganda(position 151 with 26 points).

Rwanda scored 55 percent at position 48 while Tanzania took the 103rd place with 36 points.

In Africa, Botswana, at 61 percent, had the best index in the continent. Somalia and South Sudan had the worst rankings globally at 9, 12 percent respectively.

The top three nations were New Zealand, Denmark, and Finland with indices of 89, 88, and 85 percent respectively.

While comparing Kenya to Rwanda, Transparency International Executive Director for Kenya Samuel Kimeu attributed a firm anti-corruption regime to our neighbor’s impressive index.

“Rwanda has had a better luck in the enforcement of the law. You’re more likely to be punished if you get involved in corruption in Rwanda than in Kenya. The rule of law in my view is the determinant if you compare the two countries,” Kimeu said on Thursday.

“Kenya has made a dismal improvement. Punishment and recovery of assets acquired corruptly are necessary if Kenya is to make improvements in the fight against corruption.”

“Kenyans have been calling for punishment on those involved in corruption as well as recovery of the assets they acquire through the practice but that has not happened,” noted Mr Kimeu.

He said the graft czars in the country were enjoying the proceeds of the runaway corruption because they had nothing to fear due to the failure of the responsible authorities to take tough retributive measures.

“In Rwanda, suspects have to fear what will become of them if found guilty. They will be punished but the same does not happen here (Kenya).”

TI further noted that agencies that should be aiding the fight against graft were reluctant to take drastic measures while at the same time there was no political support.

“During the previous elections, EACC (Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission) did its part in the vetting where it sought to prevent some candidates from running but IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) just cleared them,” observed Kimeu.

He said Kenya’s score is below the 32 percent average score for Africa.

Who will save us?