Human beings are by nature selfish and many – if not most – are usually controlled by their baser instincts. This means that (wo)man almost always does what is best for him/her regardless of how it will affect the greater good; the good of the country. Thus, people have a proclivity to act in ways that might be termed corrupt.
This; however, if unchecked can – and often does – derail the developmental strides of a nation. It is a fact that the poverty, want, deprivation and many other ills in African countries are direct consequences of corruption and nepotism. The state therefore has to come up with ways and means to curb the greed of individuals.
In doing this, there has to be a multifaceted approach which will reward honesty and punish the willful taking of what does not belong to one. Rewarding honesty and sincerity will enable people to have something to work for and in the process curb their baser selves and work for the greater good of the nation.
Besides this measure, there have to be laws which will seek to punish whoever is found wanting in this process. But the laws, however good they are, won’t be effective if they only remain in the book and not implemented to the letter. They have to be enforced, fully.
There is little – if any – doubt that the Gambia is replete with corrupt officials and acts of manifest corruption. Yet, one cannot pinpoint any instance in which someone was convicted of corruption in the recent past.
With this state of affairs, government functionaries will simply think that it is business as usual and continue their acts of malfeasance. This will not augur well for our economy and our developmental strides won’t lead anywhere.
Government should therefore take a firm stance against corruption and take it beyond the rhetoric and start prosecuting people found wanting. An example must be set before we see results.