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EXPERT COMMENT: Mimicry case shows people believe leaders corruptly confer benefits




The Bribery Act we passed recently basically makes it an offence to receive and give a bribe.

If the law is enforced properly, we are saying that both sides-giver and taker-will be culpable. Not just the receivers but the givers as well.

In the past, the law had not been very clear but now it is crystal clear. Both sides are culpable, it is an offence to both receive and it is an offence to give. (enforce).

But there are not many cases where you will get to know both the receiver and the giver of the bribe unless it is a sting operation.

It’s usually a bit of a challenge but when you have a straightforward case, then law enforcement should be interested in looking at it from the other perspective.

The recent case of people extorting by mimicking President Uhuru Kenyatta’s voice, for me, is actually laughable because there are so many people who can mimic others.

For you to just part with money on the strength of the voice of someone you haven’t even met is laughable.

But I think it is perhaps indicative of the fact that these things are happening in our society in the way this happened and therefore it was just probably one other conversation that would have taken place.

What this case basically means is what we have always known – that leadership in this country confers benefits on people, so the value of the leadership that we continue to perpetuate is that just by virtue of being proximate to power, you can get these privileges.

It is, of course, a sign that as a society we need to recalibrate and make our leadership that one which serves the people and not leadership that confers benefits on individuals rather than serving society at large.

If, for example, these guys had mimicked my voice, I would not have given them any money. The fact that they impersonated someone who is high up there and who is perceived to be able to confer benefits managed to convince the old money to part with it.

The CEO of Transparency International Kenya spoke to the Star


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