Business, Finance & Economics

Kenya News: Paid a bribe? Tell all about it ...


Kenyans demonstrate against corruption on February 17, 2010 to vent their anger at a coalition government slowly falling apart over graft allegations and its inability to further key reforms pledged two years ago. Shouting "We want political accountability," the handfull of demonstrators marched city streets to end up at the president's office where they demanded that two ministers accused of graft be suspended and charged. (Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images)



NAIROBI, Kenya — Paid a bribe recently? Kenyans can now tell all about it.

A new website in Kenya is asking ordinary folk to tell all about the daily graft they endure to get things done or are willing to indulge in to avoid the law.

I Paid A Bribe was launched in November and has so far recorded 142 acts of bribery worth KSH245,304 or $2,928.

The idea is to help Kenyans understand better how bribery works and therefore begin to combat it.

This is much-needed in a country that regularly appears at the bottom of global lists of corruption, like the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index where Kenya is ranked 154 out of 182 countries. (Somalia is the worst, by the way.)

But what is most interesting is the detail given by those who have paid — or refused to pay — bribes.

In some cases the bribes are paid after blatant examples of extortion by authority figures, whether bureaucrats or police officers, but in others the bribe is paid to avoid facing the law. It underscores the important point that corruption is a two-way thing: They ask, we pay, everyone loses.