CORRUPTION

CORRUPTION, A LEADING FACTOR FOR UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA

WHAT IS CORRUPTION?

Corruption can be well-defined as deceitful conduct by those in power, normally involving bribery. It is also the abuse of delegated power for selfish gain. Corruption destroys trust, weakens democracy, hampers economic development and further intensifies inequality, poverty, social division and the environmental crisis. The above definitions link the term directly to a governance system since it has been defined and related to those in power or positions. 

Corruption is one of the leading causes of underdevelopment in developing countries today. 

 

LEADING CONTRIBUTORS TO CORRUPTION

The leading contributors of corruption are our fellow Africans called ‘whites in black skin’.  These different leaders in both public and private sector offices are termed as whites in black skins because they are enemies of development for Africa as a continent. The leaders swindle government resources meant for the benefit of the people and the development of their areas. Some of them give jobs to close families, friends and other relatives who aren’t fit to be in those offices. 

 

FORMS OF CORRUPTION AND ITS EFFECTS

Corruption has a variety of forms including but not limited to bribery, lobbying, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, narrow-mindedness, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. This vice affects society in a way that it erodes the trust we have in the public sector to act in our best interests. It also wastes our taxes or rates that have been reserved for important community projects thus we have to put up with poor quality services or infrastructure, or we miss out altogether.

 

MAJOR CAUSES OF CORRUPTION

According to studies, the major causes of corruption are,  the size and structure of governments, secondly, the democracy and the political system, the quality of organizations, economic freedom/openness of the economy, salaries of civil service, press freedom and judiciary, and cultural determinants which then demeans the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

 

HOW CORRUPTION AFFECTS HUMAN RIGHTS

Corruption affects human rights in a way that damages the right to a fair trial in the judicial sector, as corruption grind down the independence, impartiality, and integrity of the judiciary. The lack of independence of judges, prosecutors and lawyers directly harm the right to a fair trial. In a nutshell, corruption increases unfairness, decreases popular accountability and political receptiveness, and thus produces rising frustration and hardship among citizens, who are then more likely to accept (or even demand) hard-handed and illiberal tactics.

 

WAYS TO FIGHT CORRUPTION 

  • Fighting corruption should be a joint fight by the civil society actors, human rights activists and good governance activists.
  • The fight should be tailored at strengthening the codes of conduct of civil service workers and employees in the private sector.
  • The systems of rewards and incentives should critically be followed, with clear human resource management principles.
  • Citizen and stakeholder participation, managing conflicts of interest, compliance-friendly environment.
  • E-billing (for example paying school fees or taxes) is a good way to avoid corruption.

 

CONCLUSION

Corruption can also be executed locally and unknown when one goes to work late, not returning goods borrowed from neighbours or not paying back loans requested from friends and encouraging students to solicit votes from fellow learners, by distributing items during school election campaigns.

Corruption is a mindset and it is better to change the growing children’s mindset since the old might not be repaired now. Let children grow with a mindset of returning property after borrowing, convincing friends to vote for them than bribery, and respecting other people’s belongings.

Clide Odhiambo

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