How new award scheme aims to curb corruption

A campaign seeking to promote better management of resources by rewarding citizens of good moral standing has been launched in Kenya.

Public and private organisations can now use a phone app platform to nominate persons believed to be ethical and non-tribal, who would be used as role models in various sectors of the economy.

The platform uses a portal and an SMS enabled feedback mechanism allowing Kenyans to send in details of people they think have impacted the society positively. The process culminates in an annual integrity awards competition in which finalists get a medal, certificate and financial token.

Pillar of Hope, pioneers of the initiative, will on Thursday lead the official unveiling of ‘Be the change’ campaign at an event attended by state and non-state actors. Officials from Auditor General’s office will grace the launch.

The launch will be held at Intercontinental Hotel, according to Waithaka Mwangi, chief executive of the programme. He says civic educators will immediately be dispatched to all the 47 counties for mobilisation. The drive hopes to minimise corruption in public service and the private sector. It also provides an integrity creed requiring citizens to sign committing themselves to ethical values.

“Integrity is a space for a few and those few will always be there. The bottom line is that good people should be rewarded,” Mwangi says.

The launch comes barely a week after Kenya joined other countries in marking the World Anti-corruption day on Friday.

Mwangi added: “There cannot be a successful war against vices like graft and tribalism without committed “soldiers’’ ready to fight for the cause regardless of the odds. We intend to eventually have the integrity creed in English and Swahili.”

Isaac Chege, a volunteer, said they intend to create commercial value and benefits for integrity champions apart from providing a forum for peer to peer recognition.

The “Be the change” drive is designed to use civic education and awareness campaigns targeting the public. It has already been rolled out in 28,000 schools.

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