Corruption and Donor Reforms: Expanding the Promises and Possibilities of the Rule of Law as an Anti-Corruption Strategy in Kenya
48 Pages Posted: 1 May 2009
Date Written: February 4, 2009
In this paper, I explore various anti-corruption initiatives that for part of the rule of law reforms donors have required the Kenyan government to implement. Rule of law reforms primarily aim at instituting fair or impersonal procedures that limit open ended official discretion. The goal of these rule of law reforms is in part to put in place effective mechanisms to hold public officials accountable for abuse of office. My argument is that although rule of law reforms are significant for reducing opportunities for abuse of public office, these do not necessarily guarantee or entail fair outcomes. This is because the nature of corruption in the county is in large measure a reflection of the disproportionate inequalities of wealth and power. Grand scale corruption and looting in particular take place within a fairly complex network of individuals and groups with access to enormous wealth, power and influence in both the public and private sector. Dealing with corruption as a matter of procedural fairness is insufficient in this context. Any approach to dealing with corruption requires a commitment to redressing the disproportionate access to power, wealth and influence that makes corruption possible in the first place. The Goldenberg scandal and the case of the Anti-Corruption Authority demonstrate the inadequacy of using procedural safeguards to deal with a case of grand corruption and looting.
Keywords: Corruption, Rule of Law, Goldenberg, IMF, Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority, IMF, World Bank
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