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New study points to why Kenyans are more dishonest under Jubilee

A new scientific study has found a link between corruption in government and general levels of dishonesty among citizens.

Researchers in the study found that corruption is contagious, and people living in countries with high levels of corruption in government are more likely than not to be dishonest.

Kenyan citizens were not among respondents polled in the study, but the findings ring true to the country’s ongoing fight against corruption.

The findings comes weeks after Kenya was ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world. The newest Transparency International (TI) report ranked it at position 139 out of 168 countries

The country is faced with mega cases involving bribery schemes and fraud networks that have seen the National Youth Service lose about Sh791 million, among other cases.


In the study, researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom came up with a prevalence of rules violation index. To create this index, they analyzed data from 2003 from 159 countries all around the world on corruption, fraud and tax evasion.

They then conducted a polling experiment among 2, 586 youngsters all aged below 23 from the said countries.

The polling participants were too young to have influenced the index on the 2003 data that was used.

They found that the countries with lower degrees of corruption, fraud and tax evasion were likely to have higher levels of honesty amongst the citizens.

Interestingly, the researchers found that none of those polled were either fully honest or dishonest.

Of the 159 countries studies, Tanzania and Morocco were the ones that scored poorly in the honesty quarters. Austria and the UK on the other hand scored highly on honesty.


When the researchers analyzed all the findings, they found a strong link between the prevalence of rules violation index and the intrinsic honesty of individuals.

Individuals from countries with higher incidences of rule breaking were found to be more likely to lie so as to get extra cash as compared to those individuals from non-corrupt countries.

The researchers conclude that constant exposure to rule breaking by those in power leads people into the habit of stretching the truth.

Simon Gächter one of the study authors says,”The results are consistent with theories of the cultural co-evolution of institutions and values, and shows that weak institutions and cultural legacies that generate rule violations not only have direct adverse economic consequences, but might also impair individual intrinsic honesty that is crucial for the smooth functioning of the society.”

President Kenyatta recently disrobed himself of all diplomatic decency and brazenly referred to Kenyans as “expert thieves and nags” who lack focus to develop their country.