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seriousness is needed in fighting corruption: Step-up all current
Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)
December 09, 2010
As we celebrate
the Anti-Corruption Day, we should remind ourselves of the devastating
effects of corruption on development. The realization of its shattering
effects should motivate us to strengthen our efforts towards fighting
it. Research has confirmed that corruption:
affects progress/efforts towards national development priorities
and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at large
the poor more than the rich;
- Causes wars
the rule of law, human rights and democracy, to name a few
That said, governments,
donor community and other stakeholders should know that undertaking
poverty eradication or alleviation intervention without simultaneously
fighting corruption, will not achieve much. Gains made will be reversed
through corruption and this makes it important to mainstream anti-corruption
efforts in development interventions.
It is acknowledged
that a number of anti-corruption interventions are being carried
globally. However, cases of corruption are still rampant and some
of the culprits are senior people in society and some in governments.
Some anti-corruption bodies do not seem to be eager to investigate
them and this sends wrong signals on the commitment of governments
in fighting the scourge of corruption.
this day ACT-Southern Africa urges all stakeholders to be involved
in fighting corruption since it is everyone's responsibility
to do so.
have the responsibility of putting in place anti-corruption laws
and policies aimed at combating and preventing corruption. If
these laws and policies are either not in place, ineffective or
not being enforced, this casts doubt into the seriousness of governments
in fighting corruption.
- Some countries
that have signed and ratified anti-corruption treaties such as
the SADC Protocol against Corruption , the AU Convention on preventing
and combating corruption and UN Convention against corruption
to name a few, are urged to implement them to the fullest. And,
all those that have not signed and ratified are urged to do so.
- The SADC,
AU and UN should not only facilitate the drafting, adoption, signature
and ratification of treaties but should also be instrumental in
supporting and ensuring that State parties effectively implement
them. Many countries signed and ratified these treaties but there
is no change on the ground.
- In line with
the above, a shining example is the SADC that has not put in place
institutional arrangements for the implementation of the SADC
Protocol against Corruption. Article 11 of the SADC protocol calls
for the establishment of a Committee through which the protocol
should be implemented. These arrangements are not in place and
SADC is encouraged to expedite process towards the setting up
of this committee;
- The private
sector, including the business community should also play a critical
role in fighting corruption. The UN Global Compact principles/guidelines
provide a good starting point on how the business community can
contribute towards these noble efforts; and
of the public have an important role to play too. They can play
the watch-dog role whilst at the same time desisting from paying
bribes. In a mini-assessment carried out by ACT-Southern Africa
in November 2010, it was observed that drivers were offering bribes
to traffic police officers in Namibia and Zimbabwe. By refusing
to pay, the public will significantly contribute towards a corrupt
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