Written by MARAPOST SOUTH-SOUTH LEARNING @ MARAPOST
This debate builds on the article titled Uganda: Corruption may soon become a religion by Odoobo C Bichachi in which the author is lamenting the level of corruption in his home country.
Looking at the Global Corruption Index Malawi ranks better than Uganda. But taking a deeper look at the same, the trend from 2008 to 2011 shows that while Uganda is ‘improving’ Malawi is ‘regressing’ – perception-wise.
While Malawi ranked number 80 out of 182 countries (where the least corrupt was number 1) and Uganda was ranked number 158 in 2008; Malawi fell back twenty paces to number 100 while Uganda improved by 15 places to number 143.
Therefore going by the index, it would appear that corruption in Malawi from 2008 to 2011 worsened - as it improved in Uganda.
What could be the key to Uganda’s changing from worse to bad?
Our colleagues in Uganda, people like Mr Odoobo C. Bichachi, are not just sitting idle about corruption. In his article he has suggested the way forward on how to deal with the “cancer” of corruption in Uganda:
“Well, the only way we will get beyond the boiling point and have the corrupt evaporate is if we apply enough pressure on the state and not let the leaders get away with mere comic performances and stage-managed anti-corruption exercises.
And this we can do by using the one thing that we still possess – the vote – by not voting (back) into power thieves, those associated with thieves, and those that protect or sympathise with thieves.”
For consumption and debate:
Critical thinkers like Mr Bichachi know that unless corruption is checked in Uganda, the country’s development agenda will be negatively affected. The same applies to Malawi.
In the case of Malawi, the recent breakdown of national accountability systems – the National Audit Office (NAO) crisis and the vacuum created in the office of the Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which is delaying the completion of landmark cases; are all contributing to the creation of a fertile environment for corruption to thrive.
What can we, as patriots, do to avoid further deterioration? How can we help or push our government to accelerate, intensify and stop paying lip service to the fight against corruption?
The floor is now open for debate