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Let us not pay lip service to anti-corruption initiatives - Anti-Corruption Day
Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)
December 07, 2012

As we commemorate the Anti-Corruption Day (9 December 2012), we should seriously think about the disastrous effects of corruption on society. Equally important is a reflection on cases of corruption that have been reported in our countries and gauge our commitment by looking at the outcome of interventions undertaken to resolve them. If no action was taken or if such cases remain pending, we should all accept failure and strengthen our anti-corruption efforts.

Almost all countries have had numerous cases of corruption, be it reported or unreported, but these cases of corruption speak volumes about its prevalence and the challenges ahead.

  • In Kenya, unprofessionalism of the part of Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) resulted in loss of lives whilst the conduct of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission caused a deep crisis that almost pushed the country into a war situation. The Electoral Commission of Namibia caused a rift between opposition political parties and SWAPO and resulted in loss of income due to law suits. In most of these cases the culprits never felt the implications of their actions;
  • In South Africa finalising the Arms Deal case is taking long simply because of the fact that senior government officials are implicated;
  • In Namibia, the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) in which millions of dollars were lost remains unresolved;
  • In Zambia, the late Chiluba, though acquitted under controversial circumstances, corruption is still rampant and a classic example is the looting of HIV and AIDS funds;
  • In Zimbabwe, the people were fleeced of their wealth and pride through a number of cases that include: the War Victims Compensation Fund Scandal (WVCF); Abuse of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF); Diamond Scandals; Wealth Accumulation; The VIP Housing Scandal; The National Oil Company Scandal; The Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) Scandal; The Kondozi Estate Looting; The Willowvale Scandal; The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) Scandal; The Fertiliser Scandal; Interference with the functions of the judiciary; Harare Airport Extension Scandal; and Minister Christopher Mushowe and the University of Zimbabwe.
  • In Angola, DRC and Zimbabwe, mineral resources are being looted to satisfy the personal interests of a few individuals;
  • Swaziland features as one of the most corrupt monarchies, which is the only one that has not ratified the UNCAC among 15 SADC member states;
  • Many countries that have signed and ratified anti-corruption treaties continue paying lip service to anti-corruption initiatives. Signature and ratification of treaties is being used as a way of attracting donor funding, without seriously taking steps towards the total eradication of corruption;

There is no doubt that corruption is among the leading causes of socio-economic and political challenges facing the Southern Africa.

Mr. Norman Tjombe, the Chairperson of ACT-Southern Africa urged governments, Civil Society Organisations, the private sector, and citizens in Southern Africa to redouble their efforts against corruption. "As we celebrate the Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December 2012, we should all know that we are not doing enough in eradicating this evil of corruption. Corruption remains as one of the daunting challenges facing the world and we should put our heads together to fight it head-on. If we don't fight it, this will definitely back fire" he says.

In its previous report on Zimbabwe, ACT-Southern Africa recommended that all corruption cases that had been forgotten should be re-opened and all culprits brought to book. As the world celebrates the Anti-Corruption Day, ACT-Southern Africa salutes all countries that have put in place mechanisms to effectively eradicate the scourge of corruption. Similarly all countries that still have gaps should do more. All cases that appear to have been forgotten in SADC member states should be re-opened and investigated.

Visit the ACT-Southern Africa fact sheet

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