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Can You Get A Tender In Kenya Without Bribing Top Government Officials?

Navigating the bureaucracy of government tenders in Kenya can often feel like traversing a labyrinth of regulations, paperwork, and opaque processes. While the tendering system is intended to promote transparency, competition, and fairness, anecdotal evidence suggests that corruption and bribery remain pervasive, with allegations of officials demanding kickbacks in exchange for awarding lucrative contracts.

In this environment, the notion that “you can’t get a tender in Kenya without bribing top government officials” has become a common refrain among businesses and contractors seeking to secure government contracts. This assertion raises fundamental questions about the integrity of the tendering process, the rule of law, and the challenges facing both businesses and the government in combatting corruption.

According to the government of the United States of America, Kenya ranks among the most corrupt nations globally when it comes to tender allocation. The USA alleges that American companies face challenges in securing tenders in Kenya due to instances of bribery and extortion orchestrated by high-ranking Kenyan government officials.

According to the US government, political interference in Kenya’s judiciary and extortion in public contracts is a major setback that might injure the trade relations between Kenya and the United States.

“Corruption remains a substantial barrier to doing business in Kenya. US firms continue to report challenges competing against foreign firms that are willing to ignore legal standards or engage in bribery and other forms of corruption,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said.

The report indicates that Kenyan officials are demanding substantial bribes from investors in exchange for awarding government tenders. Those unwilling to pay these bribes find themselves excluded from tender opportunities. Additionally, the report highlights corruption within the judiciary as well, a fact that is evident.

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2023, Kenya received a score of 31 on a scale ranging from 0 (indicating high levels of corruption) to 100 (indicating very low levels of corruption). In terms of this score, Kenya was ranked 126th out of 180 countries included in the Index, with the top-ranked country perceived to have the most transparent public sector.

Corruption within tendering circles has become so widespread that politicians have been accusing each other of engaging in corrupt practices and monopolizing benefits. For instance, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has been accused by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei of accepting bribes from Chinese contractors.

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Majira Media

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