NAIROBI, Kenya — A Kenyan man had to pay a $24 bribe to a traffic cop for speeding — but then successfully argued that $8 of it should be returned so he could have something left to pay bribes farther down the road.
Requests for bribes are so frequent that Kenyans like to trade their favorite tips for dealing with them, and now one man fed up with the country's pervasive corruption has launched a website where people can share their stories.
Already the site has collected more than 300 stories in less than three weeks, said its founder, Anthony Ragui.
A spokesman for Kenya's government-funded Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission said officials would welcome the information being gathered online at www.ipaidabribe.or.ke..
"The fight against corruption calls for concerted efforts from everyone. This kind of initiative is something that would be most welcomed but it is important the information is carefully analyzed," said Nicholas Simani. "It is a noble initiative."
Almost every Kenyan has a bribery story to tell. Some are punchlines to jokes about the country's corruption. Others, like officials taking bribes to grant licenses to dangerous drivers, have more serious consequences.
Ragui, the website's founder, returned to his native Kenya in 2007 after working for the American bank Wells Fargo.
"I saw a system that works, where you pay your taxes and get services in return," said the 37-year-old, his eyes shining behind his glasses. "I came back and everyone was complaining about corruption here. But no one was doing anything about it. So I decided to take the first step."