In Kenya, bribery has worked its way into many facets of everyday life. Nowadays most interactions with governmental officials or policemen, from routine stops to securing a passport, are expected to be met with bribes. Anthony Ragui, a Kenyan anti-corruption campaigner, is looking to help change that with his website ipaidabribe.or.ke, where Kenyans are able to report bribes that they have paid by entering the details on the website, or in a country with few personal computers, they can submit by text message.
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What’s the Big Idea?
One of the problems with corruption in Kenya is that because it is so widespread, bribes are taken for granted and go unquestioned. “The aim of the website, as much as exposing the extent of corruption, is to empower people to say no.” One of the systemic problems of corruption, Ragui has found, is “the long bureaucratic delay to get a document, license, permit or service. Digitalizing government departments,” he says “would shorten the process and cut opportunities for corruption.” While Ragui faces an uphill battle, he hopes to make a difference in persistent culture of bribes and corruption by giving Kenyans a voice.