#STOPtheseThieves – Demo against Corruption


In recent days, the media informed by audit reports uncovered cases of blatant corruption within government departments and agencies including the National Youth Service where up to Kshs. 9 Billion is reported to have been illegally paid out to fictitious suppliers; the National Cereals and Produce Board paid huge sums of money to suppliers not accredited; Reports from the Office of the Auditor General indicating mismanagement of public funds within various government departments including the Health and Education departments.

Transparency International Kenya through Actin for Transparency in partnership with Kenya Human Rights Commission, Buyer Beware and other organisations planned a demonstration against the blatant runaway corruption in government to raise the voice of citizens in demanding for action.

The demonstration was dubbed #STOPtheseThieves and was held on 31st of May 2018, at the Uhuru Park grounds, with a demonstration through Kenyatta Avenue, Kimathi Street, Moi avenue, City Hall way, Parliament road and to Haile Selassie rd.

The demo attracted participants in hundreds, who were involved in displaying placards that displayed different messages in detest of the recent corruption scandals and inept by government authorities to take any action. Protestors walked, danced, sang and others chose to scream, while cameras from local and international journalists clicked away in the over 3 hours activity. Organisations represented gave speeches periodically and made calls to other onlookers to participate in the picketing. A petition was read when the crowd arrived at the judiciary, asking the courts to ensure prosecution of the corruption suspects, with hefty fines and punishment.

When TI-Kenya organised an inaugural Integrity Walk in December 2017, a contingent of policemen armed with clubs, tear gas canisters and guns, surrounded the Freedom Corner Park (start venue) with an order to stop us from proceeding with the walk. It was shock and awe, that a peaceful walk, a symbol of citizens stand on accountability and transparency issues, was invaded and stopped with such impunity. A year earlier, a demo against the loss of 5 billion shillings at the Ministry of health, was thwarted with violence and brutality to the participants and without any mercy to the journalists covering it.
It was therefore a great achievement to have had many participants in this peaceful demo with escort from policemen. Perhaps an indication that the police and their authorities are appreciating the right of citizens according to the constitution of Kenya, Chapter 3 Article 37, to peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to demonstrate petitions to public authority.

During the celebration and commemoration of the Madaraka (Independence) day on June 1 2018, president Uhuru Kenyatta gave a rather tough and firm statement about non-tolerance to corruption in his government. He declared that corruption in all its forms will be diminished from our country, adding that his governments’ raft of measures to tackle corruption, include an initial step for all Heads of Procurement and Accounts in Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals to undergo fresh vetting, including polygraph testing, to determine their integrity and suitability by beginning of July 2018 and those who shall fail the vetting will stand suspended. Unlike his previous speeches, during previous national events – where he once asked Kenyans, “Mnataka nifanye nini?” (What do you want me to do?) – president Uhuru had never talked this tough on fighting corruption. We hope that this will translate to action.

So far, over 40 suspects have been arraigned in court and held without bail, with more expected to be charged according to the Directorate of the Criminal Investigations.  The recovery of assets from those accused of corruption must also be given priority. See more photos here.

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Media Forum on Access to Information Act

Access to Information Poster-01

We recently organised a Media Forum to discuss how the Access to Information Act can benefit journalists and citizens. The forum that was held at a local hotel, was attended by 29 journalists who participated in discussing Freedom of expression, where the media is grounded, as an important aspect for journalists to be involved in.

The panelists who led the great discussion included:

  • Erick Mugendi – Managing Editor PesaCheck, an initiative of code for Africa/ Builds tools for citizens to help citizens track budgets. Try to connect the big numbers with the people.
  • Christine Nguku – Vice Chairperson Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), Secretary Kenya Editors Guild.
  • Winnie Tallam – Senior Legal Officer – Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) The body that is also mandated to ensure implementation of the Access to Information law.
  • Sheila Masinde – Programmes Manager Transparency International Kenya.
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A4T Twitterthon at Kenyatta University Parklands Campus

Kenyatta University Twitterthon

We recently held a Twitterthon on 18th April 2018, at Kenyatta University, Parklands Campus, in partnership with Kenyatta University Students Association – thank you guys!

The exciting and informative 2 hours at the KU campus hall was aimed at involving the youth in the fight against corruption and creating awareness among them on issues of accountability within the Education and Health Sectors.

Thanks to the students who were present, over 2,500! tweets were posted about the A4T App, its features, usability and usefulness in advancing transparency and tracking budgetary expenditure and to report corruption through the App.

View more photos here.
You can download the App on Google Play Store and on Apple App Store.


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Action For Transparency Media Training – DEADLINE EXTENDED

journalist-training2 (2)

Exciting opportunity for journalists aspiring to gain skills investigative and data journalism.

A 3 month Grant and mentorship program will be offered for the 10 best journalists after the training

Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya) through the Action for Transparency(A4T) Project has partnered with USIU-Africa, to conduct training for journalists in Nairobi. The training aims to empower journalists with skills to investigate cases of suspected corruption or mismanagement of public funds and analyse financial/budgetary information to reveal gaps affecting the health and education sectors.
Journalists will undergo training from 28th to 30th November 2017 at United States International University (USIU-Africa), in Nairobi.

TI-Kenya in partnership with Swedish based Fojo Media Institute, is implementing the Nairobi based A4T project that uses technology, aided by an empowered citizenry, to strengthen democratic accountability and transparency in Kenya through citizen monitoring of government expenditure.

Journalists wishing to take part in this training (free of charge) should Apply Here, by providing all required information and a story idea that they wish to pursue.

10 best investigative ideas will be awarded grants and mentorship for 3 months after the training.

Deadline for application is 11:59pm, 17th November 2017.

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TI Kenya Hosts Media Practitioners, Calls for Collaboration




Transparency International Kenya hosted journalists, bloggers and media trainers on Tuesday 10th October, 2017 in Nairobi. The meeting was aimed to discuss the role of media in political accountability. Victor Bwire from the Media Council of Kenya, William Janak from Kenya Correspondents Association and Sheila Masinde from TI Kenya led the discussions.

Sheila Masinde, the Head of Programmes at TI Kenya, urged journalists to continue playing their watchdog role effectively noting that the society trusted on them with the responsibility. “Mass media has always played a key role in ensuring that citizens monitor the actions of leaders by providing essential information to citizens,” she observed.   While pointing out the need for more engagement between media and civil society organisations, she said that TI-Kenya has been supportive of media through capacity building initiatives such as the Action for transparency project and Reporting on Good Governance in Kenya (RoGGKenya).

Journalists were urged to be true to their profession. Victor Bwire bemoaned the level of investigative journalism and called the need for mentorship of upcoming journalists. “If we want to ensure accountability in service delivery, then we must publish quality articles,” he advised. He called on journalists to explore alternative platforms to publish their stories.

William Janak, the chairman of the Kenya Correspondents Association challenged journalists to follow up on corruption related stories. He said that while journalists faced challenges, they have a responsibility of following up stories so that leaders are held accountable. This, he also said, will ensure public resources are well managed.

The forum was held by the  Action for Transparency Project which is aimed at enabling parents and other stakeholders have access to information on how much money the government has disbursed and how it is utilized in public primary schools and health centers in Nairobi.

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Kariobangi South Primary School: Parents complain over payment of outlawed fees


The parents of a Nairobi school are up in arms over what they termed illegal charges, including examination fees. The management of Kariobangi South Primary School has been accused of charging Sh800 examination fees, contrary to Ministry of Education regulations. They say the institution also demands tuition fees and money for computer lessons from the pupils. They say children are sent home when they fail to pay the charges.

This article was published at the Standard Media.Read full article at Standard Media.

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Many Kenyans are forced to pay a bribe to access key services. According to the East Africa Bribery Index (EABI) 2017, Kenyans would pay a bribe to access Police Services (68.8%), Land (55.1%), Judiciary (48%) and Civil Registration Services (45%). The Index reaffirms that bribery is still a key concern in the region with 83% of Kenyans describing the level of corruption as high compared to Uganda at 81%, Rwanda 61% and Tanzania at 44%. The survey recorded a reduction of bribery incidents across the region from majority of the respondents seeking public services. It however identified the Judiciary, Land and the Police Services as institutions most affected by bribery across the region.

The East African Bribery Index

The East African Bribery Index (EABI) is an annual survey that seeks to record bribery experiences of citizens in public service delivery. Since 2010, the survey has been carried out in the five East African countries; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. In 2017 the survey was not carried out in Burundi due to security concerns. The public services surveyed by the index include security services (the Police), Judiciary, Medical and Health Services, local (county) government services, utilities (water and electricity), registry and licensing services (Civil Registration and Business Licensing) education, Tax and Land Services.


Aggregate Index: The Kenya Police Service was ranked the most bribery prone institution in Kenya with a score of 83 followed by the Judiciary and Land Services at almost half the score; 44 and 41.7 respectively. The Police had an increase of 15.3 points while the Judiciary and Land Services shaved 2.7 and 13.3 points respectively. The least bribery prone institutions ranked were Tax Services (12.9) and Huduma Center (10.7)

Likelihood of Encountering Bribery: Majority of the respondents interacting with the Police (68.8%) and Land Services (55.1%) were asked (implicitly and explicitly) or offered to pay a bribe to access the services they were seeking followed by 48% and 45% interacting with the Judiciary and Civil Registration respectively. The least likelihood was recorded at Tax Services and Huduma Centers as 18.4% and 12.6% of respondents reported being asked (implicitly and explicitly) or offered to pay a bribe.

Prevalence of Bribery: The survey recorded the highest probability of paying a bribe at the Police in Kenya at 41.6% followed by a 23.6% chance at Civil Registration, and 19.6% chance at Land Services. The least probability was recorded at Huduma Centres (7.6%), Educational Institutions (7.9%) and utilities (5.9%). It is worth noting that there was a significant drop in prevalence at the Police and Tax Services by 30.1 percentage points and 22.6 percentage points respectively.

Average Size of Bribe: The highest size of bribe was recorded at the Judiciary at Ksh 14,083 (USD 1351) followed by 12,360 Kenya Shillings (USD 119) paid at Tax Services and 8,956 Kenya Shillings (USD 86) paid at Land Services. The survey indicates an increase in the size of bribe across the board compared to the 2014 survey, save for the Police which recorded a 28% decrease.

Share of ‘National’ Bribe: Bribes paid at the Police accounted for a third of all bribes reported while cumulatively Educational Institutions and the Judiciary accounted for another third. Bribes paid at Tax Services and Huduma Centres accounted for 2% and 0.6% respectively of all bribes paid. There was a 14-point decrease in share of bribes paid to the Police. Bribes paid at the Huduma Centres accounted for less than one percent of all the bribes paid.

Projected Change in Level of Corruption: Citing lack of punishment of persons involved in corruption and lack of Government’s commitment in the fight against corruption, 47% of the respondents believed corruption would increase in the coming 12 months, compared to 51% who held a similar view in 2014. 40% of respondents felt that corruption cases were still rampant while 30% felt that no action was being taken against the corrupt. In 2014, majority of the respondents (64%) listed inaction against corrupt persons as the reason they felt that the government was not committed to the fight against corruption.

Anti-Corruption Performance of State and Non-State Actors: The government’s commitment to fight corruption was put to question. The President, Office of the Auditor General and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission were rated as average while the Judiciary and legislature scored lowly. These findings further reinforce the citizens’ belief that the government is not doing enough to fight corruption. On the other hand, the media and religious institutions’ performance was rated as good while civil society and citizens were rated as average.

Individual Role in the Fight Against Corruption: When asked about their personal initiative in the fight against corruption in the past 12 months, 55% indicated they had not done anything, with 45% indicating various actions they had undertaken. 26% said they refused to take bribes, 10% discouraged people from taking bribes while only 3% spoke openly against corruption.

Summary Recommendations

Strong Institutions of Governance: The report recommends the need to strengthen the capacity of various institutions of governance to deal with the pervasive problem of corruption. It is imperative that they have a clean bill of health to enhance public confidence in their ability to play their part in combating the vice.

Strong and Consistent Action Against Persons Implicated in Corruption: Citizens strongly recommended the prosecution of individuals implicated in corruption as the most important thing to be done in the fight against corruption. The next step therefore needs to involve the expeditious adjudication of corruption related cases to demonstrate action against persons implicated in corruption.

Integrity Management Mechanisms at Institutional Level: As a first line of dealing with corruption, institutions should be encouraged to set up internal integrity management initiatives. This could include setting up complaint resolution mechanisms for citizens to report any bribery incidents they encounter or service delivery charters outlining the services offered, amount of time taken and fees charged to access the services among other initiatives.

Digitisation of Services: Institutions should consider digitisation of various services to reduce service transaction times as well as cut off chances of bribery at all levels. As the survey indicates, Huduma Centres which offer digitised services, recorded the least bribery incidents.

Next Steps

The East African Bribery Index is a snapshot of corruption in the region. To understand the extent and scope of corruption in an institution, TI national chapters and partners in East Africa be sought to conduct an institutional integrity study to identify systematic weaknesses that may predispose an institution to corrupt practices. TI national chapters and partners in the five East African countries welcome partnerships with public institutions aimed at comprehensively identifying and strengthening internal systems and procedures to curb corruption.


The East African Bribery Index 2017 survey was conducted in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda between January and March 2017. Data was collected through face to face interviews with 9,533 respondents in the region including 2,398 respondents in Kenya. The respondents were picked through simple random sampling based on the population size across the various administrative units in each country.

The Transparency International chapters in the region are part of the autonomous chapters of the global Transparency International movement that are all bound by a common vision of a corruption-free world.

Please download the EABI 2017 full report for more details.

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Internet for Social Change


For people to benefit from the Internet, it must be not only available and affordable. It also must be relevant to their lives and they must have the skills and confidence to use it” The Economist.

According to the Inclusive Internet Mapping Progress 2017 done by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Kenya ranks 51 out of 75 countries, supported by a strong Relevance score. The indexing commissioned by internet giant Facebook, is assessing internet exclusivity across four pillars of Connectivity, Availability, Affordability, Relevance, readiness and an analysis of policy, culture and gender gaps. Kenya outperforms most African countries with a rank of 7th out of 26, but it falls behind many other lower-middle-income nations (16th out of 24).

Graphic display of Kenya’s ranking: Source the Economist

It is rousing that Kenya has been featured in this study, despite the low score. The relevance of this to us is not so that we can compare our performance with our East African neighbors, but it should make us feel ashamed and find ways of improving. We must concur that there are few studies done about the state of internet connectivity and other aspects, in order to identify and address the gaps so as to achieve an inclusive internet in Kenya. Notably, such studies help inform numerous interventions led by non-state actors that rely on the state of internet connectivity to implement part or in whole projects in uplifting the lives of Kenyans.

Such a project is the one being implemented by PAWA 254 in collaboration with Transparency International Kenya, called Action for Transparency. Action for transparency, or abbreviated as A4T, is an ambitious project that seeks to empower citizens and civil servants to act on corruption experienced in their daily lives. The A4T project partly has developed a set of secure tools like a mobile phone App, where an individual using a mobile phone with Internet access, is able to check the amount of government money given to a public primary school or health center and the amount actually spent by the institution. The App provides the capability of reporting anonymously, an institution or individuals who are involved in corruption.


A4T mobile App in use: Source Pawa254

To be able to achieve this development, the A4T project relied on a baseline survey that aimed at collecting data that would help inform the design and implementation of the project. In the survey, media was named by the respondents in Embakasi as the main source of information about corruption. This coupled with the high access to mobile phones specifically smart phones means the citizens of Embakasi have great opportunity to access information on governance and accountability through  media and Information Communication Technology. The project which was designed by Swedish based Fojo Media Institute with funding from The Swedish Embassy, has also been implemented in Uganda and Zambia.

Inevitably, no such project like A4T, that aims to address a social concern for Kenyans especially those living below the poverty line, can be implemented without massive investment into surveys for data collection. The internet sphere is fast changing, there is no singularity of data explaining the reach access and use of internet. Nevertheless, it is with deep research that we are able to reveal the challenges affecting optimal use of this technology, principally for positive social change. We do require, consistent, accessible and segmented data, that could help inform social change interventions.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) have been playing a pivotal role in carrying out quarterly sector statistics for the communication industry. To this extent, there is relevant data on the use of mobile phones, internet subscriptions among other things. Growth and drops in internet use is captured in these reports, but there is little data/information about users and the use of these internet services. Making it tasking for players who would want to understand such statistics and put them in a different use, other than for commercial purposes, as you would be purported to think of the CAK statistics.

While major multinationals are concentrating on providing access to cheap internet (mainly for profit), there are other players represented by local grassroots organizations, Non-governmental and civil society movements (Like PAWA254 & TI-Kenya) that need data for knowledge and learning of the availability, affordability and ability of everyday use of the internet and other technologies, in order to design and implement projects that are relevant to their communities, for positive social change. Governments therefore need not just to be seen to be working to enhance information for wealthy private sector, but also to enable the non-state actors deliver appropriate services to help improve the lives of citizens.


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about the launch – Embakasi


On the 16th day of May 2015, the residents of Embakasi Constituency, Nairobi, welcomed Pawa Initiative along with its partners, Fojo Media Institute, and Transparency International Kenya (TIK), to Kariobangi North Social Grounds for the launch of the Action for Transparency (A4T) project. The launch was the culmination of about 2 months of preliminary activities, which, among other things, involved the set-up of the Kenya A4T office in Kariobangi North and a number of outreach visits to neighbourhoods in Embakasi. Guests in attendance were the Uganda & Zambia A4T delegation and Swedish Embassy representatives together with the Swedish Ambassador, Johan Borgstam, who was the guest of honour.

Brian Inganga, photos
Brian Inganga, photos

The Action for Transparency (A4T) project is a social accountability project in public health and education making its debut in Kenya after a 3 year run in Uganda and Zambia. The project commenced in Kenya in March 2015 during which the A4T team began outreach visits in a number of neighbourhoods in Embakasi; Kwa Mola (Molem), Dandora, Kware, Karsan, Kariobangi North and South. These outreach visits were done in order to map the social resources in the area as well as scout for creative potential in the area.

The project seeks to engage the residents to hold themselves and their government accountable to the delivery of services in the areas of public health and education.

Three primary approaches would be employed by the project to facilitate this; the use of mobile phone tools such as a smart phone app that maps out resources in these 2 key sectors of public services in a way that allows any user to obtain the relevant information and report anonymously as well when need be. Coupled with this would be an SMS short-code and toll free line easily accessible to those who own basic feature phones. Lastly, on the technical front, would be the online platforms – a website and social media connections – where the community can further engage in open discussions, information sharing, and reporting that is pertinent to the project objectives.

Brian Inganga, photos
Brian Inganga, photos

The tools for reporting would then be made accessible to residents of Embakasi through a series of trainings, which form the second facet of the project. Residents will also be trained on how to escalate corruption related issues from the grassroots to relevant authorities and various forms of community organizing and action, calling for the provision of the very same services in public health and education.

The last facet of the project would involve public awareness campaigns on social accountability, more specifically, galvanizing the work of creatives in the area who use their work to address social issues. This will be done in collaboration with existing groups and individuals involved in similar work facilitated through a grants program.

Given the very visual nature of the project, Pawa Initiative was enlisted as a partner having its core strength in creative work evidenced by the fiery launch that had many artists performing in between the programmed speeches. Among others, artist who performed were Octave Band, Sirikal, Daniel Onyango, Japolo, Kpack & Eidala with the last performance being graciously executed by the popular SARABI band whose drum beats reversed the rain back to the sky. A live graffiti installation also run concurrently in the background as the event went on again reemphasizing the very important role of art in social change work. The effects of the launch were immediate with many in attendance asking when the app for reporting would be ready and others asking how they could get involved.

Brian Inganga, photos
Brian Inganga, photos

The launch was the beginning of a relationship between the people of Embakasi and the A4T team that would lead to harmonized service delivery from the government to its people. Nothing summed up the event more than the words from the Swedish Ambassador, who, during his speech, reminded the residents of the area to hold themselves and the A4T team accountable as much as they hoped to hold the government accountable. Governments, afterall, are the people.

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