Kenya fairs dismally in observing the rule of law according to the 2014 Rule of Law index published by the World Justice Project (WJP), an independent organization that promotes the rule of law around the world. Judging from the rankings, one is better placed in terms of adherence to the rule of law living in Tanzania compared to Kenya and Uganda in East Africa.
The index is based on an assessment of a country’s performance across nine indicators: constraints on government powers; absence of corruption; open government; fundamental rights; order and security; regulatory enforcement; civil justice and informal justice.
When it comes to ‘absence of corruption’, Kenya was ranked 93rd out the 99 countries surveyed. Only the Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Cameroon and Afghanistan are more corrupt than Kenya. Across all the indicators Kenya was ranked 86th.
Kenya appears in 12th position among the 18 African countries in the index where Botswana takes the lead in the continent when it comes to applying the rule of law. Botswana appears position 25 among the 99 countries even beating European countries like Italy (29), Hungary (30) and Greece (32)
Ghana comes in second at position 37 globally, followed by South Africa (40), Tunisisa (41), Senegal (43), Morocco (52), Burkina Faso (53), Malawi (55), Tanzania (69), Zambia (70), Cote D’Ivore (72), Egypt (74) and Sierra Leone (84).
The World Justice Project defines the system of rule of law as one in which the following four universal principles are upheld:
- The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.
- The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
- The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair,and efficient.
- Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
RULE OF LAW – FOUNDATION FOR ‘OPPORTUNITY AND EQUITY’
“Effective rule of law helps reduce corruption, alleviate poverty, improve public health and education, and protect people from injustices and dangers large and small. Wherever we come from, the rule of law can always be strengthened”, says William H. Neukom, WJP President and CEO of the World Justice Project.
The report says that: ‘The rule of law provides the foundation for communities of opportunity and equity – communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government and respect for fundamental rights’.
So there are 92 countries less corrupt than Kenya, according to the index and only six that are more corrupt. When it comes to living under the rule of law, 85 countries are better off than Kenya and only 13 in a worse position.
We have so much to celebrate after 50 years of independence. Who should we blame?