The Kenyan public service is facing a major challenge when it comes to accountability and transparency. The lack of proper monitoring and oversight has created a culture of impunity, with many public officials engaging in corrupt practices without fear of repercussions.
Just yesterday, I saw a tweet of someone publicly advertising how they can get you a passport in a short amount of time if you bribe them.
Corruption is a pervasive problem in the Kenyan public service, with numerous cases of graft and embezzlement being reported every year. According to the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Kenya ranks 124th out of 180 countries, indicating that the problem is severe. The public service is rife with inefficiencies and bureaucratic red tape, which makes it difficult for citizens to access services and report corruption cases.
Lack of Accountability and Transparency
One of the main reasons for the high levels of corruption in the public service is the lack of accountability and transparency. Public officials are rarely held accountable for their actions, and corruption cases often go unreported or are dismissed due to a lack of evidence. Kenyans have accepted that corruption is okay and just a faster way to get service, this has created a culture of impunity, where public officials engage in corrupt practices without fear of repercussions. Police officers openly receive bribes on public roads every day from PSVs while dozens of passengers sit and watch.
In terms of the bigger picture, the lack of transparency also makes it difficult for citizens to access information about government spending and projects. This lack of information creates a breeding ground for corruption, as public officials can easily siphon funds from public projects without being detected.
The Kenyan Govt should also make corruption a priority and aim to keep Kenyans who fight against it safe!
Here is the story pic.twitter.com/mUPtFxtpjy
— UNDERRATED NINJA (@iamjoseh_) February 16, 2023
The Need for Monitoring and Oversight
While reading the news today, I saw that The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) seeks to purchase bodycams to monitor employees engaging in bribery cases, In order to address the issue of corruption in the public service, there is a need for proper monitoring and oversight and KRA is on the right track by planning to use tech to do this, however, I doubt 30 body cams will do any good.
The use of technology in public service should become more prevalent in Kenya, as it can help promote accountability and transparency in service delivery. The government should continue investing in digital infrastructure to support the provision of services like the development of platforms such as e-Citizen.
The e-Citizen platform eliminates the middleman, it is an online portal that provides a single point of access to various government services. Citizens can access services such as applying for passports, renewing driving licenses, and registering for national exams. The platform should be used to the optimum to help streamline service delivery, reduce the need for physical visits to government offices, and in turn the need to bribe people for services and promote transparency in the provision of services because you can’t pay via cash.
The Use of Social Media to Expose Corruption
Social media should also become an essential tool in the fight against corruption in Kenya. In recent years, social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been used to expose corrupt practices in public service and Kenya should follow suit. Instead of advertising corruption as a service, let’s in turn use social media to expose that kind of corruption and hope for a better country. Social media is a powerful tool and should be used to promote accountability in public service.