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Corruption undermines democracy

GABORONE - The Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi says corruption undermines good governance, retards economic growth and development by diverting activities into coffers of a few and often has the most serious ramifications for developing countries.

Speaking at a seminar co-hosted by Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the Chinese Embassy last week, Mr Masisi said corruption discourages legitimate business investment and reduces the public resources available for the delivery of public resources especially to those in need.

He said corruption distorts human values, undermines democracy, its institutions and ethos and engenders citizen frustration with elected and appointed officials.

In many instances, Mr Masisi said, the response to corruption has been to blame either the bribe givers or the bribe takers rather than to understand its structural character as well as how it has embedded itself in relationships among individuals, communities and or organisations.

He said its measurement has become the subject of a sophisticated statistical modeling of perceptions rather than the greater effort needed to understand the concrete circumstances of its social origins, as well as achieve the systematic and sustained computation of the frequency and occurrences of specific forms and types of corruption.

He said there is no level of acceptable corruption and it does not matter if corruption is millions of Pula or not, as the violation of trust is the same and the damage to the taxpayers is the same.

He said that if there is the desire and commitment to continue with the fight there is need to choose effective methods of improving networks so as to keep abreast with the market and learn from each other as far as prevention is concerned.

He said there is a need to reform attitudes at all levels of the economy and in all agencies of the public service and the private sector which serves a person in order to make the system work more honestly.

Mr Masisi said bribery and corruption are features that every government in history has had to take note of and treat with serious concern, adding that despite corruption being something that is deeply entrenched in the system and that sometimes seems inevitable there is a need to improve efforts to tackle it. (13 December 2010, BOPA )

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