The Dynamics of Political Corruption and Neo-Patrimonialism in Kenya

Nenpomingyi Sarah Gowon-Adelabu, Susan Mwangi Owino, Washington Ndiiri


Corruption is one of the major obstacles to the development of many African countries including Kenya. This paper examines the dynamics of political corruption and neo-patrimonialism in Kenya. It achieving this, the paper interrogated the changing manifestations of political corruption and neo-patrimonial practices from the government of Jomo Kenyatta to the present Jubilee government of Uhuru Kenyatta and highlights the implications on Kenya’s development. The study is considered important because there has been tendency to propose solutions and strategies for combatting corruption without necessarily taking into consideration the context in which corruption takes place. The paper analysed secondary sources of data with a qualitative approach. It maintains that political corruption in Kenya is similar to many African countries. However, the peculiarity of political corruption in Kenya is that it is deeply rooted in the exploitation of ethnic preferences. The manipulation of ethnicity has been a means by which political office holders use national resources to amass wealth and satisfy individuals needs to the detriment of the common person. The study concludes that concerted efforts should be made to reform the governance structure in Kenya to make it inclusive and participatory for the different ethnic groups in the country.

Keywords:   Corruption, Neo-patrimonialism, Leadership, Development, Governance

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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