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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Corruption is antithetical to nation building

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Corruption is a cancer that destroys nations and destroys economies. The barometer ultimately that measures the democratic nature of any given state is the transparent nature of its political and economic business. The enactment of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2012 and the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission for the country could not have come at a better time. The Gambia, like any other country in the developing world, is a nation struggling to overcome poverty and want, and in so doing needs all hands on deck in its fight against any menace that will hinder our drive. So Speaker Bojang reminder of the legislature fundamental role in the fight against corruption will serve to revitalise and renew the political will and commitment towards the cause.

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The usurping of the country’s wealth is nothing new. It could be recalled that among the initial goals of the Jammeh government when they came to power was the fight against corruption, which shows patently that this is an old Gambian story.  It’s a matter of fact that the struggle to achieve the goals that are enshrined in the various papers and programmes of the government are brought to halt when there is no commitment to accountability, transparency and probity. The progress of any given society is hinged on the healthy nature of its economy.  Without economic viability and strength, a country is no more than a complete failure at the mercy of others.

 

Transparency International an anti-corruption movement present in more than 100 countries, ranked The Gambia at 127 out of 177 countries in its Corruption Perception Index. This shows that we are on a lower pedestal in the arrangement of the index. They went on to show that the main causes of high corruption rate is usually the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery. This ravages societies around the world. 

 

It should be remembered that one of the major tools in the realisation of total independence from all forms of domination and subjugation lies in the independence of our economic systems from all forms of individual usurpation of a collective cake. On a much bigger scale, when  Africa came out of colonial rule what it failed to enhance to the fullest and in so doing resulted in mass poverty was the working toward the consolidation of the economic promise of an independent state. This failure on the part of the leaders of the post-colonial states was what in essence was transferred down to our times manifesting itself in the corruption and unbridled greed within the corridors of the governments.

 

When implemented properly, anti-corruption policies such as the Act that was passed by the Assembly in 2012, will go a long way in the solidification of the governance process. One of the most cherished ideals in a living democratic system is accountability and transparency and these two are closely linked to each and every facet of democracy. The issue goes way deeper than just the unjust consumption of the people’s wealth; it has more to do with the trampling down of basic constitutional injunctions. 

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