The right approach to curb corruption
Tesfaye Lemma 09-13-17
Corruption is a global phenomenon that strikes hardest at the poor, hinders inclusive economic growth and robs essential services of badly needed funds. No exception for Ethiopia. The government has identified corruption and rent seeking activities as impediment of the move in all direction. The incumbent has promised time and again to crack down on any sort of corruption which hurdles the country’s fastest growing economy.
This incident is attesting that corruption is threatening to reverse the gains of development and pressuring on already limited resource in the country. The maximum available resources are not utilized as effectively as possible towards the realization of economic, social and cultural rights when a substantial portion of the national resources are diverted in to the private pockets. The burden of corruption is becoming a blockade for development.
A number of senior officials, businessperson and middlemen have been arrested in connection of the biggest anti-corruption sweep in the years. The court has also given order to freeze the assets belonging to many individuals and entities listed in the scandal. These people who are in custody have allegedly committing embezzlement of billions of Birr from the public who are in bitter fight against poverty.
Notably, the involvement and the deal among officials, business people and middlemen is displaying the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of corruption.
As the nation is aggressively embarking upon huge development projects, renewing commitment to fight the vexed issues of corruption is timely. Preventing corruption in these development projects, where government and the public are spending resources, is a noble duty for the responsible and accountable government, most importantly the public.
Cognizant of this fact, the government of Ethiopia has been taking multifaceted measures to curtail the adverse impact of corruption on development and democratization. The measures include enacting anti-corruption law, establishment of federal and regional ethics and anti-corruption commissions, implementing civil service reforms and provision of civics and ethics education in schools, among others.
As the fight against this evil has badly requires more concerted efforts, the government is expected to intensify efforts and display its commitment and take actions with urgency. There must be a room enabling for the public to be active participants to lead and direct the fight against corruption comprehensively. The fight against corruption requires the largest and diverse set of actors to come together to deliberate on it.
They have exposed corruption and impropriety as well as maladministration in their respective districts. Correctional measures have been taken following their tips and follow up.
Along with taking measures on corrupt individuals strengthening the civic and ethical education in schools would be feasible. Similarly, empowering ethics liaison units of the respective offices in government offices, public enterprises and higher learning institutions would help protect any possible corrupt practice before the damage.
Many argue that the loose transparency and accountability in public decision making is looping holes for corrupt practices. In fact, this is one of the very reasons that expose the public resource for greed embezzlement. It would be advisable to devise strong system that ensures responsible and accountable practice thereby cracking down corruption.
The role of the public is unparallel to educate the public. It really helps to forge the potential efforts of each actor together to strengthen cooperation in the fight against corruption and promote transparency and accountability.
It is really a paradox for a genuine mind that some have been trying hard not only to improve their lives but also the public at large. However, others have been voraciously stripping down public resources. The situation what we are witnessing now is a defining moment in a truly national effort to boost the synergy in the fight against the scourge.
The recent arrest of the Federal and Addis Ababa Roads Authorities, Sugar Development Corporation and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation officials, businessmen and middlemen who are suspected of committing corruption crime is time to further instigate and encourage elevated the spirit of the public to fight the bane.
The youth and the women have to join hands to intensify their efforts in the fight against the curse as corruption is taking way their opportunities and benefits. They have to make note that resource for social and economic amenities is being stolen for private gains.
While the government is the key responsible actor, stakeholders and the citizenry can help by lending their full support in enhancing the national anti-corruption activities. With no doubt, the corruption needs holistic engagement of several actors.
Now the government is in the right truck to enhance good governance through curbing corruption and rent seeking. As the anti corruption struggle aimed ultimately at ensuring sustainable development, supremacy of law and quality of lives, all actors should come forward to explore together endless possibilities and new horizon of working together to attain these noble aspirations.