So it was friday night in Kigali and my best friend Jekwu was taking me out after several business meetings. Jekwu is one of those guys who can actually walk and chew gum. After remotely picking up my team and I from the airport and setting up meetings with the Rwanda Development Board and several business groups , it wasn't until evening when we met and decided to unwind.
So, my guy is driving this SUV, a big man car on a pot hole free well asphalted road and he is almost annoyingly crawling with no vehicle in front of him. What is going on ? Is this guy trying to reduce my PPB time or what?
So I asked him, Bros, does this car not move faster than this ? He burst out laughing and told me Rwanda has speed limit. But I can't see any check point on the road I insisted, then he explained that the police are often on the sides of the road with speed lasers and they'd measure your speed even before you get to them. Haba! Speed laser? In Rwanda kwa. Even though I've noticed kigali was a very organized city, extremely clean with a capital C, called the safest city in Africa , but these are stories for another day. So I asked Jekwu what happens if they stop you and you find them something . "Haba, Bros, they go show you for national TV oo" was his reply .
This event brought to my mind the news about fighting corruption quietly. It's obvious that GEJ fought corruption systematically .The IPPS and the e-wallet system removed ghost workers from MDAs and rent seekers from the fertilizer supply chain. But I still think he made a mistake by fighting corruption quitely.
Love him or hate him, PMB is getting international recognition as a fighter against corruption. Irrespective of the impunity of disobeying court orders, he is gradually building on that reputation. Imagine the arch-bishop of Canterbury defending him in a private discussion and the AU nominating him to lead the fight against corruption in Africa. The man has actually built a brand no matter what we think .
Last year I asked a friend who works with ICPC what they've been doing. He argued they've been fighting corruption 'quietly'. I told him that corruption doesn't need to be fought alone, but must also be seen to be fought. He said that was eye service. I said it's not eye service but a deterrence strategy. Deterrence is the easiest strategy in crime fighting .
With this small eye service done on judges, I can bet you that if you approach any judge with bribe this period, he'd either run four-forty or set up a camera to record you if you tell him Oga is angry.
But all this will wear out if those judges are not arraigned in court and prosecuted. If that is not done ASAP, we might return to status quo.
Today news reports that the director of ICPC has been sent on compulsory leave. I wasn't surprised because they've been fighting corruption quietly.
I wish the President finds a passionate Nigerian that can fight corruption in the civil service, MDAs and make so much noise about it.
We want to see sting operations on Police officers who take bribe along the road and in their offices .
How can your major law enforcement agency be collecting bribe openly and brazenly yet you want to fight corruption? At least NTA news should show police officers who were caught taking bribe on the road.
We want to see senior customs officers and senior civil servants busted in the night and shown on national TV. We want the search light on FIRS where I learnt they have suspended auditing . We want see a new bill calling for the independence of the efcc and ICPC . We want to see more eye service . This is what deters corruption in the first instance so that even if you and I want to discuss corruption, we'd discuss it in hush tunes in the dark of the night.
Corruption might begin by fighting your opposition members ,but a king might come who knows no Joseph and the tables will turn. So I think everyone should shape up and gird their loins.
#FranklySpeaking is a friend of the blog who occasionally contributes to the blog under the pseudonym, #FranklySpeaking.