Kenyans can say anything is possible, and the world will quickly believe them thanks to the famous British M-Pesa.
Now they say they are developing a website to fight corruption. This is not hearsay, the president said it.
According to President Uhuru Kenyatta, (with all due respect) the portal will enable the public to report corrupt government officials so as action, can be taken against them. Speaking at the unveiling of a government led procurement initiative that aim to buy from the youth, the disabled, marginalized communities and women the president said:
“We have reached a point where if you want to keep your Government job, you must be satisfied with the salary you are paid. If you think it is not enough, you are free to quit and look for other forms of employment.”
Developing a corruption watchdog website will be good. Someone people will be paid to do that. One problem would have been solved. Money has to be spent. However, the website will definitely not be so different from ipaidabribe.or.ke which crowdsources information from the public on incidences of corruption. Ipaidabribe.or.ke has cases worth over Ksh 125,488,977 reported and none of them prosecuted. Probably due to lack of evidence against the officers or reporters not wanting to waste time in a judicial system they believe is not judicious, even witch-hunting its own staff.
There is no reason why one should pay a bribe for a bid he qualifies for. But because most of this firm’s will have youth as proxies CEO’s money is likely to exchange hands in a hotel somewhere from willing sellers and willing buyers. Bribery is greed and just a website will not help fight it. It starts with exemplary leadership, from the president himself, his cabinet heads downwards, otherwise this much ado about websites for everything will leave Kenyans with WestagatE like questions.
Another platform the government might use if it really wants to report and map corruption is Ushahidi, Kenyan developed crisis mapping platform used around the world. But if the government has to build its own website, it should not end up costing the taxpayer his life savings.
Just an hour ago, someone reported that on October 9 he paid a bribe to get his licence. Nothing has been done about it, so the problem is not a website, it’s us the people.
The bribery report reads,
“One would think that a new County Government would have changed things at the City Hall…BUT no. For a licence to do some minor alterations to our office, it appeared that the Kanju had declined to give approval. My boss, a Kenyan of Asian Origin then told me to go see a certain Mr K at City Hall and to give him a small incentive in an Envelope. The envelope had 10k, i took out 5k to feed the wife and kids and gave him 5k. The permit was ready within the hour. I guess i was the cut out for my boss as he continues his nefarious activities.”