Pause: How can we tackle corruption and restore citizen trust?

Pause: How can we tackle corruption and restore citizen trust?

__Let’s talk solutions.

Today I want to share with you about something very special and important that is coming up early next month. One of the founding members and past chair of “The Elders”, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has asked me to address the 9th Annual International Peace lecture to be held on 7 October (which also happens to be his birthday). The topic he’s asked me to speak about is this: “Tackling corruption in the public and private sectors: Restoring citizen trust locally and globally”.

I am very honored to be invited and am starting to prepare my Lecture notes now. I hope if you are in Cape Town that evening, you might still be able to attend. The link to get the free tickets is here:

If you have been following this page for awhile, you know I believe that each of us as citizens is responsible for doing something positive to shape our society, right where we are. This includes, of course, saying no to corruption. A few years ago I wrote a 16-part series here about the subject. Please check it out if you missed it.

Did you know that according to the African Union, more than US $148bn is drained out of Africa every year, because of corruption? Imagine what jobs could be created and infrastructure built with that amount of money… But corruption comes in many forms. When a traffic cop stops and asks you for a “cool drink” for the fine to “go away” because you were speeding or talking on your phone whilst driving, for example, that is corruption, too. Pay the fine as is legally required! And slow down and don’t text or drink while driving! #JustSayNo to any form of corruption.

Now as we think of important roles we can each play to build Africa’s century: #Afripreneurs, techpreneurs, #SeniorClass this is where you come in:

__What is in your hand? What can YOU do to tackle corruption? What about others in your communities?

On Friday in Addis Ababa, for example, there will be another exciting pitch contest, this time to win the “Inclusive Innovation Challenge”, sponsored by one of our companies, Liquid Telecom. (I will give you the link later so you can watch). In this competition, techpreneurs will showcase some amazing digital innovations. Four ventures will be chosen to go to MIT in the USA in November to compete against the world in MIT’s premier Future of Work prize. You can find out more here:

Now the digital solutions being pitched in Addis this week don’t focus on stopping corruption, but maybe next year some of them might? We all know that the future of work, the prosperity of our nations and families and children in particular, is deeply impacted by corruption, not just in Africa, but the whole world. I’ve already told you about one new innovation we’re introducing to identify counterfeit products. There is so much new that technology can do.

__How can Africa lead the way with solutions?

Maybe there can even be a competition for techpreneurs to develop apps to help stop the scourge of corruption? What do you think?

Just look at the amazing businesses founded by the young agripreneurs who competed at the AGRF a few weeks ago. We want to ensure their ventures and products can grow and attract investment in strong and stable economies! And all of your own businesses as well. So #Senior class, I need your ideas:

__What solutions can entrepreneurs provide to tackle corruption, and also to restore citizen trust?

Now remember: if you already have specific tech ideas, don’t share too many details here, just get to work. (And as always, save your political comments for another platform, not here).

This International Peace Lecture will be heard around the world. Entrepreneurs and visionaries on this platform, let me hear from you.


Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

40 Replies to “Pause: How can we tackle corruption and restore citizen trust?”

  1. Afterthought 1.

    “My father always used to say, ‘Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument”. Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    This International Peace Lecture will be one of nine such lectures that have been hosted by the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation ( In the past, other guest speakers included my friend Kofi Annan, Graca Machel and Thuli Madonsela.

  2. Watch Africa’s “Inclusive Innovation Challenge” (ICC) pitch semi-finals on Friday, 20 September!

    As I mentioned above, one of our companies, Liquid Telecom, is hosting the IIC Africa Celebration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this Friday. I had really hoped to be there to take part but it wasn’t possible. This is a great program that I will tell you more about soon. Stay tuned and I’ll share the link for you to watch and study the 12 pitches.

    The four winners from Africa will be announced Friday night after the pitch contest, then in November will proceed to the finals at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA to pitch for the Global Grand Prize (offering more than US $1m in prize money). They’ll also get to attend a Future of Work and AI conference there. Below are the 12 finalist ventures from Africa, in four categories. Take a look and let me know what you think.

    1. Financial Inclusion: # Bloom Impact, # Inclusivity Solutions, # Social Lender

    2. Income Growth & Job Creation: # Indlu, # Kumwe Solutions, # Tiny Totos

    3. Skills Development & Opportunity Matching: #, # Shortlist, # Taskty

    4. Technology Access: # Farmerline Limited, # Flare, # Last Mile for BoP

    You can find out more here:

  3. #Reflection:

    Do you really want to end corruption?

    Here is how:

    Eliminating corruption is actually a lot easier than most people think!
    Unfortunately, most people think that it is going to be eliminated by electing leaders who tell us they can deal with corruption:
    No sir!
    It will not happen in 100 years.
    Most leaders who are elected on Anti Corruption tickets leave more corruption than what they found!

    It will only happen when we elect political leaders who have the actual #COMPETENCE to address two issues that are at the heart of all corruption:

    #1. Identify and eliminate opportunities of arbitrage in the allocation of any scarce resource or service or opportunity.
    A country with no foreign exchange control [ like Kenya and Rwanda] does not have corruption involving foreign exchange allocation!

    #2. If you have to control something, because it is scarce, then focus on transparency, and accountability.
    If every state owned company or entity [that uses Tax payer funds] had to publish its audited accountants, every 6 months [ online and in newspapers] you would cut corruption immediately.

    Much of what we call corruption is created by bad policies that create opportunities for arbitrage, or lack transparency and accountability.

    I don’t care what corruption you are seeing, it can be addressed by policies aimed at addressing these two issues:
    #Identify and eliminate arbitrage opportunities;
    #Create transparency and accountability. Take out discretionary powers from individuals or groups of individuals.

    If you look at any type of corruption, you will find that one or both of those two issues are at play!

    So next time someone says they are going to deal with corruption, ask them to speak about the policies they will enact based on these two areas!

  4. Eugene writes,

    Arbitrage: A market activity in which security, commodity , currency or other tradable item is bought in one market and sold simultaneously in another market in order to profit from price difference between the markets!

    My reply,
    That is correct!
    Let me give you a simple example:
    In Zimbabwe, they used to control the price anyone could sell their own second hand car!

    So what do you think people did?

    They used to allocate foreign exchange through “Import Licenses”:
    That immediately created an arbitrage opportunity for “briefcase businessmen” who could get import licenses!
    The moment it was eliminated, there was no opportunity for arbitrage.

    Let’s discuss corruption in terms of just those three things:
    #What is the arbitrage opportunity, created by a bad policy.
    #What is the level of transparency and accountability.
    #Who has discretion, and why?
    As long as there is someone operating with power of discretion, for which there is no transparency and accountability?

  5. Afterthought:

    The moment, I see three things:

    #1. An arbitrage opportunity;
    #2. Lack of transparency and accountability;
    #3. Discretionary powers to decide who can and cannot have something.

    You can never persuaded me that corruption is either not occurring or will not occur at some point.

    As long as you are simply relying on having good people, you will not eliminate corruption in a sustainable way!
    Rather go for a systematic, and methodical approach to those three principles!

  6. Kanyenze Gift writes,

    Also corruption can only be fought with sincere hearts in the first instance. No policy can be foolproof but to a sincere heart some ‘opportunities’ are overlooked for common good instead of personal gain.

    My reply,
    The solution does not lie in the “sincere hearts of men”; it lies in competent policy making!

  7. Austin Uzim writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa example of arbitrage is roadblock by police on an Express Way so that drivers slow down to roger thr police at the checking point.

    My reply,
    If you must have a police roadblock then you have to put in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that there are no opportunities for corruption, otherwise corruption is inevitable, no matter what country it is!

  8. Kalu James writes,

    I don’t think corruption has a solution in Africa,just like you said at least in the next 100years

    My reply,
    How many countries in Africa, have you personally been to?
    I have personally been to more than 40. I can give you a list of many that have minimal corruption!
    And in all of those countries where it has been tackled, the framework I have given is how they do it.
    # identify and eliminate sources of arbitrage created by bad policies.
    # optimize transparency and accountability.
    #. Don’t allow discretionary powers to sit unchecked in an individual or individuals.

  9. Tapiwa Mandiwara writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa powerful Mukoma, if truly they are serious, they could actually embrace technology like blockchain technology, imagine if developing countries can embrace this technology in safeguarding elections etc.

    My reply,
    Moving to 100% cashless society would achieve this, even before Blockchain.
    Digitization of all government activities, and putting public records online.

  10. #Corruption in the Judiciary:

    One of Africa’s top judges asked me last week if I had any idea on what could be done to cut out corruption amongst judges.

    One idea, I gave her:

    #. When there is a court case, the papers of the lawyers and the decision of the judge must be posted online.

    It’s a simple technology and everyone prepares papers on a computer. So let’s see the full case, not just the judgement:
    What was the complaint?
    How was it argued?
    And what was the final judgement?

    I’m not saying that will end corrupt judgements, but it would open each judgement to the scrutiny of peers for all generations!

  11. #Reflection:

    When people want to steal money, whether in government or in a business. They will do one or more of the following:

    #1. Set rules and procedures that create an arbitrage opportunity!
    #2. Remove transparency and accountability.
    #3. Introduce rules that give an individual or groups of people powers of discretion to decide who can have and who cannot have. Having decided that only they have the wisdom and competence to do make such decisions!
    They make sure there are no systems, and where they exist, they can change the rules, when and how they like.

    Then we all scream, corruption!

  12. #Pause:

    There is an African country, where they had exchange controls. They ended up with 5 exchange rates.
    Powerful people made millions arbitraging these exchange rates.
    They made money on fuel, on imports of everything including whisky!

    The police spent their time chasing street money changers, and robbing them of their money!

    Then one day they appointed a wise bank governor.
    The first thing he did was to shut down exchange control.

    The exchange rates vanished.
    Arbitrage disappeared.
    Foreign currency flowed, almost out of nowhere!

    The big guys stopped making money without working for it.
    The money changers disappeared.
    Corruption in that sector of the economy disappeared!

    Does anyone know which country, I’m talking about?

  13. #Use the Digital Tools, and proactive citizenry to fight corruption:

    If you really want to end corruption, stop talking about it;

    Every time you see an area where there is corruption come up with a strategy to bring transparency.
    Let me give you an example:

    #1. When you approach a police roadblock, switch on the mobile phone and record the audio conversation. Don’t use the video, use a hidden phone, which most of us have!
    Next thing you must do is post it online, preferably on the Twitter handle or Facebook page of your leaders!
    Now, if you are afraid to do something so simple, then you have forfeit your right to complain, and rather go die the silent death of a coward!

  14. #We will not end corruption, until each one of us is prepared to pay a price to end it:

    #. Everyone knows that I fought for 5 years in the courts to get a mobile license in Zimbabwe, but what few people know is this:
    I could have done a deal to accommodate certain people, at any time, and ended my persecution. I refused!
    I paid a price!
    #Learn to Refuse!

    #. In Nigeria:
    Everyone knows that I walked away from the biggest business opportunity of my life [at the time], because I would not pay a bribe!
    I paid a price!

    #. In Kenya:
    I walked out of a deal to buy Telkom Kenya after certain demands had been made. It is well known.
    At the time, it would have given me a say in Safaricom which had less than 50,000 customers!

    I paid a price!

    # In my stand I did not end corruption, but I gave it a blow.
    Now imagine if all of us gave it a blow?!

    We are not going to get anywhere with this fight, when some of us, pay a bribe, and then complain afterwards that there is corruption!
    You always had a choice to say No! And to report the matter, or put it online!

    #Learn to Refuse!
    #Have the courage to fight back!
    #Stand up to those who demand bribes from you!
    You can do it!

  15. #You can make real money from fighting corruption!

    As an entrepreneur you can actually make real money from fighting corruption, by developing tools to fight it!

    Let me give you an example:
    One of the worst corruption scourges in Africa is the sale of fake things, like drugs, seeds, fertilizers, dvds, documents etc. On Sasai we have developed a QR Code system, which we intend to use to fight this type of scourge:
    If you are able to develop Apps which customers can use to check out documents, drugs, seeds etc., it becomes a fight against corruption, which could make you money!
    I deserve to make money from the fight against corruption, and I will!

  16. #Pause:
    How I used a simple administrative procedure to fight corruption:
    In February 1997, the then Minister of ICT, announced that she had awarded the mobile license to a company called Telecel in Zimbabwe. Within 24 hours I wrote to her, and told her I was seeking judicial review under our laws. She had no idea that such a procedure was possible. On the same day I presented her with a court order, and appeared at her office with my lawyers and a Deputy Sheriff of the court. We took all documents relating to the tender and placed them under seal in the High Court. When the documents were unsealed, we found they contained evidence to show that the tender result had been doctored. The judge reversed the decision of the license!
    That fight alone took 12 months!

    I was 36 years old; I had no money, and no power of men!

    When are you, in your generation, going to pick up the fight I started?
    Stop complaining about corruption; Act!
    End it!

  17. Victor Ogobuegwu writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa sir to tackle corruption, I think there should also be a need to focus on comprehensive education for the future generation, ensuring that schools and universities curriculum are updated. Furthermore there should be an avenue to create and imbibe culture integrity and demand of accountability. Thanks

    My reply,
    I agree!
    Now tell me what you are going o do yourself to make this happen?
    I need a smart solution, that is within your own capacity, which you then scale.
    Until you are able to come up with an approach that puts you at the center of the finding a solution, it will not be done.
    Do it!
    And do it now!

  18. Edesiri Ekokota writes,

    The utilization on blockchain can go a very long way in the fight against corruption, especially the issue of ghost workers and electronic tax system

    My reply,
    This is true, however the person who will make a lot of money as an entrepreneur is NOT the person who sees the problem, or even the solution, but the one who ACTS!
    It is true that Blockchain will allow us to eliminate ghost workers in government positions, but that is “seeing”, it is not “acting”. One day you will wake up and find that some smart entrepreneur has developed a platform which enables governments to register their employees on a Blockchain ledger, and tracks them in such a way that it will be impossible to have a single ghost worker. Then you will say “someone stole my idea”; but you did not “act”!
    Who will #EntrepeneurIt!
    for us?
    If not you, then who?
    If not now, then when?

  19. #Pause:
    I asked this question “does anyone know which country, abolished exchange control?” And in the process ended currency related corruption.
    This is not meant to be a guessing game, which results in silly answers!
    Answers like Nigeria, and Zimbabwe are silly because they both have exchange control and multiple rates!
    Things like “parallel” and “black” market rates, are nothing more than the result of arbitrage opportunity created by a policy.
    You can trace them directly to a policy that was taken by someone, however well meaning they claimed it was.

    Why not take time to investigate. I’m so busy and I don’t need to do this remember,
    We cannot solve problems that we don’t understand.

    If no one gives me the right answer including when it occurred. It will remain unanswered. I will not give the answer.

  20. Liveit L Ndlovu writes,

    US$1:$12 bond cash,and US$1:$20 eco cash.
    Ecocash agents are charging 60%.
    I think it’s time to act on that issue Sir

    My reply,
    We cannot solve a problem, until we first understand it:

    #1, EcoCash is not a currency. It is simply a mechanism that money moves through.

    You don’t dig up a road, simply because a thief came on a road!
    EcoCash is just a road for money, it is not the money!

    EcoCash does not have any money. The Cash [bank notes] money belongs to the agent.

    #Ecocash does not print money, either physical or electronic.
    That is done by the RBZ. They decide how much bank notes are in circulation. If there are not enough, then they must supply them, until there is enough supply.

    #2. Why is there such a shortage of bank notes in the first place, that it becomes possible to sell bank notes?!
    Where in the world does that happen?!

    # Give me a break my friend, you are smarter than that!

    Who created such an arbitrage situation?

    #3. Whose cash is the Agent selling, at that rate?!

    #4. How does Econet police 50,000 agents?
    Who can do it?
    No one, because that is not the problem.
    Ask the RBZ to address the supply of these bank notes, if if believe that is the problem.

    What if we stopped them all from dispensing any cash, would it solve the problem?

    #5. If the State withdrew its electronic money that moves through EcoCash, and replaced it with physical notes, would it solve the problem?

    #6. When an Agent sells his money at 50% premium, does he share the upside with EcoCash?
    If you show me that anyone at EcoCash is involved and benefitting, that is another issue. But that is not what is happening!

    Let’s first understand the problem:
    This is simply symptomatic of hyper inflation. In case you have not realized Zimbabwe has the highest hyper inflation in the world right now!

    If you address the causes of hyper inflation, this problem disappears.

    Ask me rather how to address the hyper inflation, and I would be happy to have an honest conversation on it.
    But then again, we all know how that is done, right?

  21. Peter Oluwafemi writes,

    Thanks bunch for this tremendous enlightenment you have shared to us. Corruption didn’t start a day, it is gradual process from infant to adulthood. A lecturer of mine, will say “we are born with corruption “,for example give a little child biscuit and within one minute try to take it back from him and you will understand what I mean. In a nutshell, family leaders must try to instill good habit into the lives of their children, in order to shape their behaviour in the society. God bless Africa.

    My reply,
    Peter, with respect your lecturer does not know what he is talking about:
    #1. We are not discussing the spiritual condition of man. That is for the church.
    #2. If we are discussing corruption, we must know what
    It is and is not!
    We can have real confusion, if we do not have a definitive understanding of what “corruption” is in a pure technical sense.
    For instance if you come to buy something from me, which is scarce, and I charge you a price you consider “exorbitant” it is not corruption.
    However if a government service involves a set fee, but a person charges you more, then that is corruption.

    #2. There are countries around the world, in both developed an developing countries where corruption is extremely low. Some of those countries are African. Now if you come from an African country where you believe that corruption is endemic, don’t suppose that is how it is throughout Africa. Not so!
    Which means it is not something we should accept as part of life.

  22. Rashton Mtombeni writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa Thank you sir. A good number of us Zimbabweans are excellent at the blame game, and blaming the wrong people/ institutions. No wonder we are where we are right now. Selling cash is only a symptom of a problem, and not the actual problem. I can always tell a post by a Zimbabwean, it’s always a complaint about something, and no attempt to present a solution.

    My reply,
    As someone rightly observed there is no difference between EcoCash, and Western Union, M-PESA or MoneyGram. They are all money transfer platforms. To suggest they are “currencies” would be what Pastor Chris calls “ignorance on a rampage”!

    There is only one legal tender in Zimbabwe:
    THE ZIMBABWE DOLLAR [I know some people do not want to use that dreaded name, but that is the official currency]:
    This currency exists in electronic, and physical bank notes [known as “Bond Notes”]:
    Both the electronic and the physical notes are created, and circulated by the Central bank, as happens everywhere else in the world.

    What people refer to as “EcoCash” is the Zimbabwe Dollar in Electronic form, that is all!

    It is the role of the Central bank to model the exact requirements of each form of the currency.

    Now if there is a shortage of the physical bank notes, such that they are not available in sufficient quantities for people to access, then the Central Bank must fix the problem.

    Now, in this particular case there is a reason why they have not been able to fix it. And that is what smart, honest people should be asking about.
    “Wisdom is found in the multitude of counsel”.
    This means they are people out there who can help fix this problem.

    I studied economies at university, and I know exactly the policies that created this absurd situation, where bank notes became a commodity that could be sold at a premium.

    If you went to Mobile Money Agent in Kenya and asked for cash, and they asked for a premium, you would not call the police, but a psychiatric hospital!
    The fact that a conversation like this can even take place, is symptomatic of something having seriously gone wrong!

  23. #Pause:

    Where are the “Civil Servants” of our time?

    “If you don’t understand the true purpose of something; abuse is inevitable”.
    ~Myles Munroe.

    This applies even to the holding of a public office of any kind:
    It does not matter if you are a lowly immigration officer, school examiner, a minister or head of state:
    If you don’t understand the true purpose of public office, you will abuse it.
    That is inevitable.

    Jesus Christ, in describing the leadership style of the Roman Empire officials, said “They like to laud it over others”. Which means they want to show and exercise power and authority.
    They saw public office as being synonymous with power and control of others. They did not understand the true purpose of holding public office [even if it was by choice and design]
    This led to abuse of people.
    Inevitably their system collapsed.

    Jesus said “It should not be so, with you… the one who would lead must be like a “servant” [this is where the term “Civil Servant” used in public office came from]

    The abuse of public office for personal gain is not just greed, it is actually the highest form of ignorance by those who have no idea what the job entails:
    It is “ignorance on a rampage”!

  24. Edesiri writes,

    Where there is corruption, mismanagement must be there too..

    My reply,
    Creating bottlenecks through mismanagement is actually a mechanism for creating “arbitration opportunities”:
    Whenever you see procedures that are excessively cumbersome, and bureaucratic; know it for what it is:
    Someone has created an #opportunity of arbitrage!

    They want people to be frustrated, so they pay money!

    Smart policy makers, and law makers can tackle this problem by creating #Transparencies in procedure, and setting timelines by which approval must be granted.

    #Every process must be routinely reviewed to ensure that #arbitrage opportunities have not been included.

    #whenever there is a so called “shortage”, most (99%) of the time it is deliberate.
    Someone created that shortage, and they are laughing at us!

  25. #Something to laugh at!

    Before leaving for a certain country, by air from SA. We had booked hotel rooms at a leading hotel. We arrived at the hotel at midnight, only to be told they were “full”!
    They said they could not find our rooms on their system.
    It was so late, and we were in the middle of city, we did not know very well.
    We called the manager of this big international hotel, and she said there was nothing she could do to help, but she remained quietly in her office where we could see her through the glass door.

    I watched quietly as my staff argued in vain.
    Then I asked to see the manager on the side, and whispered something in her ear.

    Within 5 minutes, we had all the rooms, and I was in the Presidential Suite!
    So what do you think I told her?

    I will tell you the answer later, but why don’t you try to guess!

  26. Owen Gundidza writes,
    If you don’t understand why a problem occurs then you will always be a victim:

    SIM cards were in short supply, because there was no foreign currency to import equipment to expand the network. International banks would not extend credit to companies in Zimbabwe because of sanctions.
    The government controlled the price of Simcards, and the few that were available became a tradable commodity.

    When I heard about the problem, I realized that we had to dramatically expanded the Zimbabwe network, in order to release more Simcards:

    I solved the problem by personally going to China and borrowing $94m, using a personal guarantee.
    I could do this because I don’t live in Zimbabwe, and have other assets outside Zimbabwe.

    That is why I had to use a personal guarantee.

    With that money we expanded the Econet network, and released millions of Simcards. Then everyone could get a SIM card,even for 50 cents!

    Problems are solved when people sit down, and thoughtfully find a solution.

  27. This is what I told The Hotel Manager:

    “Whilst I have been sitting here, I was looking up the details of your hotel group. I understand it is headquartered in the US and they will be opening shortly given the time difference, so I will deal with them directly to solve this problem.
    Please allow me to just sit here with my team until your US office opens. Thank you for the effort.”
    I then ordered my team to stop complaining and sit down quietly.
    I never once mentioned my name or raised my voice.

    I knew that they were running a scam which involved late arrivals:
    If a person is told they have no room they would be too scared, and would pay a bribe!

    Our rooms suddenly appeared and we were offered upgrades for free. We declined anything other than what we had booked.

    I told my team not to eat any food whilst we stayed the night.

    The following morning we left early, and moved to another hotel.
    When I got back home, I informed the hotel group by email, what had happened. Shall we say “all Hell broke loose”!

    I never stayed there again.

  28. Mabel Iyen writes,

    I will like to know the experience people have obtaining a passport or driving license in various government agencies in African countries.

    Recently read unpleasant tales of degrading treatments from civil servants if you won’t bribe your way through.

    My reply,
    This type of nonsense won’t end until people willing to pay the price, step forward, and become activists:
    You can begin an online campaign using platforms like Twitter, and Facebook.
    You can set up websites, and create social media handles, demanding action.
    Identify officials by name, who delay passport releases. File court applications even!

    When I left Zimbabwe in 2000, my passport became full. So I applied for a new one in the normal way. I went almost a year without a passport, and I had an international business to run.
    I got my lawyers in Zimbabwe to make an application to the Supreme Court, over my constitutional rights to have a passport. On the eve of the hearing, a passport was delivered to my lawyer.
    We did not have social media those days, otherwise I would have had a field day!

    These things happen, because too many of us, prefer to first pay the bribe, then complain later!

    There is nothing more terrifying to a corrupt official, than a person who refuses to pay and silently leaves, without even shouting and screaming!

  29. Joseph Mushoke Sikuka writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa there is nothing more terrifying to a corrupt official, than a person who refuses to pay and silently leaves, without even shouting and screaming.
    I did this to a lady police officer at passport office.
    When I went to inquire on the procedure of obtaining a passport, she told me if needed a quick one for just two days I needed to oil her with k300.00 equivalent to $30.
    I looked her in the eyes and said repeat that again ,but she didn’t.
    I then walked upstairs to inquire from another officer who told me the procedure.
    I also learnt that it was almost the same amount I needed to deposit at the bank to obtain a receipt for that passport.
    Two days later I was back facing the same officer going for interviews.
    You could see the shame in her eyes.
    My passport was out after two weeks which is the procedure.

    My reply,
    I salute your approach!
    That is the crux of the matter:
    We stop corruption by refusing to be the other party in a corrupt transaction!
    I know it is hard, and I know it can be terrifying, but we have no choice.
    Use the mobile phone in your pocket, and record the audio demands for corruption.
    Then go on the Internet, and post it on Twitter handles of Ministers, HOS, MPs.
    Just keep doing it.
    If it’s immigration or police, just pepper their websites with evidence of corruption.
    Use every whilstleblower platform available for government services.
    Don’t stop.

    Don’t accept nonsense like “there is no paper for passports”!
    What rubbish!
    It’s upto you.

  30. Bright Future Karasko writes,

    You threatened her that you will call the president of the country..

    My reply,
    I never make threats like that. It would be totally inappropriate and an utter display of weakness.

    The day you have real, dignity, power and influence, is the day you will stop shouting and screaming at people like Call Center staff, and hotel waiters.

    Three things I will NEVER do:
    #1. Raise my voice to express displeasure;
    #2. Use bad language against anyone who offends me.
    #3. Make verbal threats of any kind.

  31. #BreakingNews – As promised, tune in tonight to watch Africa’s MIT “Inclusive Innovation Challenge” (ICC) pitch semi-finals, sponsored by Liquid Telecom in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The four winners from Africa will be announced tonight, then in November will proceed to the finals at MIT in the USA where they will each pitch for the Global Grand Prize (offering more than US $1m in prize money)! They’ll also get to attend a Future of Work and AI conference there.

    Tune in on Facebook here and be inspired!

    Below are the 12 finalist ventures from Africa, in four categories:

    1. Financial Inclusion: # Bloom Impact, # Inclusivity Solutions, # Social Lender

    2. Income Growth & Job Creation: # Indlu, # Kumwe Solutions, # Tiny Totos

    3. Skills Development & Opportunity Matching: #, # Shortlist, # Taskty

    4. Technology Access: # Farmerline Limited, # Flare, # Last Mile for BoP

    You can find out more here:

  32. Abdallah Mohammed writes,

    Not possible corruption to be stopped

    My reply,
    I really feel sad for you.
    I know it is possible because I have been to many countries around the world, that once had terrible corruption, including even the United States itself.

    Nothing is ever possible, without someone first believing it is possible.


    Hopefully one day, you shall also travel around Africa, and see many countries where corruption is actually quite minimal.

    But, if you don’t believe, then I respect that, and will not argue with you.
    In this conversation, I am addressing those who dare believe it is possible!
    Why not join us?

  33. Tino Brown writes,

    Nigeria will never be great even b4 even now even in 100 yrs time

    My reply,
    You say this because you do not know the history of many of the nations you admire:
    It was once worse in the United States. Imagine the real US of 100 years ago?

    The slave trade was the worst corruption in the history of mankind!

    It changed because there were people who believed it could change.

    They were not many in the beginning.

    Now if you take this attitude [of saying Nigeria is irredeemable] then you have given up, and cursed the land of your own children.

    Nigeria is a good country, and there will always be more good people than bad.
    Let’s keep a correct perspective, and not allow disappointments to cloud our judgement.

    I have been coming to Nigeria, for over 20 years, and I have followed its history for over 40 years. It is getting better all the time, and it will not need to take 100 years [as you say] to completely kick out corruption!

    #Nigeria is ALREADY great as Africa is ALREADY great!
    We don’t have to be Great [Again] because we are always Great, and will always be GREAT!

  34. Kelly writes,

    Just to encourage my fellow Africans. In Kenya, we usually take videos of any injustice or corruption by people in authority & post on social media and tag relevant institutions heads. Within 1hr, it already becomes a National debate. Good thing is, Senior security officers are responsive on our platforms. This acts of bravery by regular citizens have led to Untouchables’ facing stiff disciplinary actions or even dismissal from duty. So yes, it can be done. Step by step.

    My reply,
    That is exactly what I have in mind.
    We need to use these tools to expose corruption.

  35. # Oh Mr President!

    Almost 20 years ago when I lived in South Africa, there was a huge conference attended by many heads of state and government.

    One evening I was invited to attend a meeting with the President of a beautiful country.

    It was a real honor for me, because I did not get such invitations in those days!

    He began our conversation very well, and told me how much he admired my business acumen.
    Then he said “I think you can offer real competition in our market. So I have decided to give you a license. I have the power.”

    I was surprised because I had never applied for a license in that country.

    To get a license just like that!
    Oh wow!
    This was just the break for me!

    As we spoke, he had with him a gentleman, whom he said was an experienced and highly respected local businessman.
    “I want you to work with this guy, and you should have the license very quickly.”
    And with that our meeting ended. It was polite cordial, and business like.

    Later I met with the guy assigned to help me with the details. As we got done to detail, I realized that this guy was related to the big boss. He did not even disguise it, and made it clear that he is the one who had told the President about me:

    “I can get anything I want. Tell me what you want in the license, and it’s done. I’m your partner.”
    He boasted.

    What would you have done, at this point?

    Post your view.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *