“When you see that trading is done not in consent but by compulsion, when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing, when you see money flowing to those who deal not in goods but in favours, when you see that men get richer by graft and pull rather than by work and austerity, and when it seems as if the laws protect them against you rather than protect you against them, when corruption is being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice…”
– Ann Rand
By Ahmed Farah
…What do you do?
Most Kenyans resort to an indulgence in self- pity, resigned to forever disparaging and impugning any efforts that addresses the scourge of corruption. Still others embrace cynicism to evade moral responsibility.
Not so for Grace Wanjohi, the founder of Mulika Hongo, who has taken the bull by the horn in fighting corruption by enabling citizens of all walks of life to report incidences of corruption safely and conveniently. In her words, “If you know of someone who is corrupt and remain quiet about it, know that you have become part of the problem of a growing corrupt network.”
Many think that process of reporting corruption is lengthy and complicated. This problem is worsened by the fear of reporting, which has bred a culture of silence. There is good reason for it too; some whistle-blowers have suffered immensely, with some paying the ultimate price.
Mulika Hongo is an ICT system configured to act as a virtual reporting desk, by enabling mobile phone users to report incidents of corruption and misconduct by government officials anonymously, without fear of reprisals. The receivers get a text branded ‘MULIKA’, and do not have access to the details of the sender.
Each report made is received by a multi-agency response unit of over 60 recipients including government policing agents and the anti-corruption commission. Through this “virtual police desk”, these teams have been receiving and responding to raw unedited intelligence reports directly from the citizens.
The platform is a text, APP and web-based system that enables anonymous corruption reporting and monitoring, and works with any type of handset.
There can be no accountability in the management of public institutions unless citizens know what the institutions are doing on their behalf and unless mechanisms for public participation are institutionalized.
The Mulika team has established linkages and networks with different levels of security networks, at all administrative levels. There is a mechanism for feedback, including on the veracity of information obtained, as well as challenges, to inform further advancement and development of the system.
Mulika consciously and deliberately engages community groups, religious institutions and local leaders in spreading word about the platform. This way, the citizens become drivers of their destiny rather than victims of their fate.
To report an incidence, the members of the public may send it by text (22068), or through the MULIKA APP (Android). An online portal is also available.
Real problems are solvable; it is only imaginary ones that are unsolvable. People just have to speak out. (