Saturday, April 14, 2007

Positive Developments on the Corruption Front

Most Kenyans, at least those who know something about most things, will have greeted the appointment of Richard Leakey to the headship of the local Transparency International Chapter with skepticism.

Kenyans may also look at the mainstream Kenyan media and its abdication of its duty as the public watchman and despair. The newspapers, the radio stations and the television stations have taken such strident biased positions that the mwananchi would be better served paying little attention to its fictions.

Such Kenyans would be encouraged then to know that no matter how poor a job Leakey does at TI, or how compromised he is seen to be from the start or what Transparency International now stands for, it having gained a reputation for being kinder to the government than the government's own agencies; there are now other guardians of the public purse.
The new organization set up around former TI head Mwalimu Mati is one of these. Mars Kenya which runs a website that tracks and catalogs governance and corruption issues.

The team at Mars Kenya has proved to be more responsive than your average Kenyan organization, responding to email and showing an all around better grasp of Kenyan issues than the average Kenyan organization. In addition to the information on their website, the organization also publishes books that seek to hold the government accountable to the public. Among these is one on an Anglo-Leasing type contract worth 39 million US$ surrounding the VSAT project at Postal Corporation of Kenya while another one of these highlights the mystery of the missing irrevocable Promissory Notes given to Anglo Leasing and Finance Limited by the Government of Kenya.

Read more on this from kenyaImagine's Stephen Wanyama.