Corruption within the police force [KEN38383.E]

Several sources allege that corruption is widespread within the Kenyan police force (The Nation 22 Jan. 2002; The Saturdayy Nation 19 Jan. 2002; NDIMA 25 Apr. 2001; The East African Standard 3 Mar. 2002; Human Rights Watch 2002).

A survey conducted by Transparency International's Kenya Chapter and released in January 2002 reportedly ranked the police force as "the most corrupt institution in Kenya" (The Nation 22 Jan. 2002). "The survey showed that most people seeking help from the police have to pay a bribe to be served. Only one out of 10 people who regularly deal with the police can expect to get proper service without paying. But the bribes are small, averaging Shs 631" [equivalent to approximately US$8.00] (Saturday Nation 19 Jan. 2002). A copy of the findings from this survey is attached to this Response.

In its World Report 2002, Human Rights Watch noted that "as rates of violent crime climbed, reports of police corruption, harassment, use of excessive force, and unlawful confinement were routine" (61).

At the beginning of the year, the government reportedly established a "Anti-Corruption Police Unit" (ACPU), in an effort to curb corruption within the police force (The Nation 21 Jan. 2002; The East African Standard 22 Jan.2002). The government also recruited three British experts to assist in this initiative (The Nation 21 Jan. 2002; The Indian Ocean Newsletter 19 Jan. 2002).

The Indian Ocean Newsletter reports that the anti-corruption project would be led by the Risk Advisory Group's director general, Bill Waite, and , "as main consultant and legal counselor respectively, Graham Stockwell, a former official with the London underground police, and Stephen Kramer, a jurist specialized in penal law" (The Indian Ocean Newsletter 19 Apr. 2002). The Kenyan side of the project would be supervised by attorney general Amos Wako and the country's presidency (ibid.).

In March 2002, the United States Embassy in Nairobi reportedly sponsored a week-long workshop on "Ethics and Police Corruption," designed to "train the Kenyan police against corruption" (The East African Standard 3 Mar. 2002). Ostensibly, the United States government "had noted with great concern the need to investigate and prosecute police and public corruption at all levels" (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation TV 1 Mar. 2002). A press release from the US Embassy in Nairobi about this workshop is attached to this Response.

In a 61-page report submitted to the government last month, the group of British experts mentioned above, reportedly pointed out that Kenya lacked "political goodwill" to fight corruption, and cautioned that "Kenya's Judiciary cannot be entrusted with the task of fighting corruption because it was not independent" (The East African Standard 29 Mar. 2002). Furthermore, "particular concern was expressed at the fact that the ACPU was fundamentally a 'police unit' in an environment where the police were seen as fundamentally corrupt" (ibid.).

For additional information on corruption in Kenya, please consult KEN35568.E of 27 October 2000, KEN34611.E of 21 June 2000, KEN30850.E of 13 January 1999 and the attached documents.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


The East African Standard [Nairobi]. 29 March 2002. "Abolish Harambee, Propose UK Graft Experts." (NEXIS)

_____. 3 March 2002. Dominic Wabala. "US Pledges to Help Fight Corruption." (NEXIS) [Accessed 16 Apr.2002]

_____. 22 January 2002. Dominic Wabala. "Police Anti-corruption Unit Starts Work." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2002]

Human Rights Watch. 2002. World Report 2002.New York. Human Rights Watch.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris]. 19 January 2002. "Kenya: Enter the Anti-Corruption Experts."

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation TV (KBC) [Nairobi]. 1 March 2002. "Kenya: US to Support Efforts to Rid Police of Corruption." (NEXIS)

The Nation [Nairobi]. 22 January 2002. "Kenya: Traffic Police Targeted in Latest War On Corruption." (NEXIS)

_____. 21 January 2002. Muriithi Muriuki. "Corruption Dogs Police Force, Admits Kimathi." [Accessed 19 Apr.2002]

Network for the Defence of Independent Media in Africa (NDIMA). 25 April 2002. "Journalist Arrested." (NEXIS)

The Saturday Nation. 19 January 2002. Eric Shimoi and Muriithi Muriuki. "Kenya's List of Corruption Unveiled." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2002]


Transparency International-Kenya. January 2002. Corruption in Kenya: Findings of an Urban Bribery Survey. [Accessed 19 Apr. 2002]

U.S. Embassy. 1 March 2002. "U.S. Ambassador Addresses Police at Corruption Seminar." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2002]

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