Nakuru, Friday, 13th April 2018
Nakuru County Security team makes history in pioneering fight against corruption
An initiative to help fight corruption was on Wednesday launched in Nakuru in an exercise aimed at encouraging citizens to report corruption incidences anonymously.
The Mulika Initiative was launched in collaboration with the Nakuru County Security Team and other stakeholders.
Grace Wanjohi the founder of Mulika Hongo said the aim of the platform is to drive towards a “corrupt free society”.
The launch was preceded by a procession through the streets of Nakuru and was led by the Nakuru County Commissioner Mr. Joshua Nkanatha and Police Commander Mr. Hassan Barua.
Dubbed Mulika Walk, the walk which goes in history as the first of kind in the county, was ironically led by members of the Police Service that has featured prominently on corruption watch lists over the years.
According to Joshua Nkanatha,” corruption erodes public confidence in governmental institutions and makes life of the ordinary citizen poorer”.
According toHague Institute Initiative of Law (HiiL) statistic, an average Kenyan pays 16 bribes in a month. Barua says, this is out of individual choice. He however says that exposing corrupt officials will save the image of the government system. “Corruption is an enemy of good governance” he said. Barua added that it is a responsibility of both the giver and receiver to stop corruption and adds that any suspicious case should be reported. EACC head of South Rift region said their office is ready to act on any corruption case reported. He blamed the rising number of road accidents on corruption. However, the responsibility of ending the cancerous rot was placed on members of the public. “To eradicate poverty, corruption has to be avoided. Investors are pushed away by corruption” he said.
The fight against corruption requires collaborative effort.The SMS line 22068 and Mulika mobile app are developed to enhance anonymity of the source when reporting cases of corruption. Messages from the Mulika platform are received instantly by 80 top officials in the security team. “When they receive it, it reads ‘Mulika’, followed by the reported information”, Grace said. It ensures the identity of the source is not disclosed.
Joshua Nkanatha hailed the platform saying “it has provided a medium through which the public can report incidences of corruption safely and anonymously” given that many fear discrimination for ‘Snitching ‘.
According to Nkanatha “corruption is simply a case of people stealing their own people’s collective resources “. He gave an example of roads that were never built or were built shoddily and critical medical supplies that never reach public hospitals.
The County commissioner blamed failure to report Petty Corruption cases such as, bribing traffic police at checkpoints and parking attendants as the root of advanced corruption -grand and systemic, as citizens adapt to it.”We then later blame the government for that state of affairs” he said.
In a recent report released by The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in a survey conducted before last year’s General Election, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government was ranked as the most corrupt state department.
The ministry, at 45.9 per cent, was ranked highest by respondents as the one most prone to corruption.
According to Nkanatha, “it takes three to make corruption work- giver, receiver and the passive eyewitness”. It is therefore a collective responsibility to end corruption.” Citizens can act as corruption sensing points that report corruption incidences”, he said citing Mulika App as one of the channels. Nakuru County has lost its glory due to rampancy of corruption and it was the first County to launch the initiative in a bid to clean its image. The EACC received 371 corruption reports touching Nakuru County between 2015 and 2017.
The commissioner says that in Kenya corruption is endemic “and even worse it is condoned. We see and tolerate it”. “Mulika Hongo Day should be made an annual event to intensify campaign against misconduct and corruption by government officials, which impedes service delivery”
By: Kuria Irungu , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org