Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CORRUPTION IS EVIL: End Result Is Conflict

Corruption has been defined as scourge, menace, a disease and an epidemic. It has been widely acknowledged that it poses a threat both to human development and to security.
Economically, corruption has disastrous effects. Weak economies that characterise most African countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of corruption.
 “Corruption is…evil. It undermines democracy and the rule of law. It impedes development and weakens social stability. It leads to inadequate social services, reduces productivity and encourages laziness.

It leads to sub-standard products especially when through bribery a construction or supply contract is waarded to a person not capable of doing the job. Nence there is massive effect on the public purse,” concludes, Mr. Tymon Katlholo, Directorate on Corruption and economic Crimes in Botswana.
However, it is also argued that corruption is key to human security in that if it were allowed to continue unchecked the end result would be conflict in a country. 
Conflict can arise because corruption erodes fair ply and because all the systems of government malfunction as a result of corruption, and confidence among the general citizenry in the government of the day is eroded.
As confidence is eroded, all peaceful and legitimate ways of participating in governance matters are eliminated.
 This causes some of the citizens to believe that the only way to be heard in a state is to take up arms and use violence.
It must be understood that before corruption sets in and takes root in any system of governance, all system and procedures have to be destroyed. It must be noted, however, that if a country has too many processes and systems this too can provide opportunities for corruption.
Take for example excessive paperwork at customs, or to establish a company. This process provides opportunities for corruption in that citizens seeking to short circuit the system will be willing to pay officials who are prepared to do these short cuts for a price.
Where there is absence of system, are laborious to he extent that following through them takes too long, it becomes easy for those with a corruption agenda to engage in corruption.
This latest information can be found in the African Human Security Initiative (AHSI) publication. ASHI is a network of seven African non- governmental research organisations that have been come together to measures the performance of key African governments in promoting human security.
Again, corruption erodes the ability of a state to provide social services to its citizenry. The state’s failure in this regard threatens human security because individuals’ choices become limited. Much of the poverty in Africa can be traced to poor governance.
Poor governance itself is caused by, among other things, corruption coupled with bad policies formulated and implemented by governments.
Corruption tends to involve highly placed and well-connected government officials and in some instances it involves heads of state or former heads of state.
It is grand corruption that affects a country most, because it is the large resources which, instead of going to the general public for public good, end up getting into private pockets.
This makes it imperative to establish, maintain and strengthen national anti-corruption authorities and agencies, as top government officials are engaged in corrupt acts.
Corruption thrives more easily in circumstances where there is no transparency and no accountability on the part of the government to the citizens.
Lack of transparency promotes corruption, because where there are no rules and procedures to guide how public affairs are to be dealt with, public officers have the opportunity to engage in corruption.
One of the sources of corruption has been said to be poor working conditions and remuneration of public officials’.
Ensuring that civil servants are adequately remunerated will reduce the temptation to engage in corrupt activities to supplement their incomes.
Administrative reforms will ensure that there are clearly laid-down procedures, making it difficult for public officials to flout regulations and engage in corrupt acts for private gain.
To ensure that public systems are free of corruption, the general citizenry must participate in governance matters’. There is need to have a vibrant civil society and media to act as a check on the actions taken by the government.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr Njie good topic. I for one think the endless and lengthy process of completing most governmental transactions is what breeds corruption. Most developed countries have a simple self explanation of how to complete a transaction with the option of using professional help if one so desires, the Gambia and most developed countries must start looking at revamping most of their ways of doing things. When new policies are being set, they must include the general public's input. Our failure is a result of our governments and professionals building a system for the public without any input from them. Ask the people what they want and what works for them and you will get a better product. Well thought out article though.