Often than not, we tend to be oblivious of certain realities around us till self-reflection and assessment set in then we are stung by eureka. I tend to find myself in such predisposition. For centuries now the world has witnessed the transformation of Africa. As a continent mostly termed as a “developing one’, Africa has fostered sustainability and development through partnerships and collaborations. In spite of all this effort, the mal-nutrition in governance by most African governments has brought about deficiencies in developments. Several Africans across the continent have been deprived of basic amenities and infrastructure to the greed of some African leaders.
King Solomon will be envious of some of the ostentatious lifestyles of some political leaders in Africa. A report by AU asserts that $148billion is embezzled by African leaders and civil servants yearly. Irrespective of the exportation of valuable resources like oil, timber and cocoa, Africa continues to swim in the pool of poverty. Most of the proceeds made from such exportations are left in Swiss accounts of some political leaders. Corruption has indeed corroded the hearts of these leaders!
Consequently, such selfish acts have crippled most economies in Africa; there is a need for purgation and cleansing if Africa aims to develop. According to Claire (2010), corruption is a complex issue with a vast array of determinants and effects that are often context and country specific.
In Liberia,7 out of 10 people say they have had to pay bribes to access basic services like healthcare and schools .Now I ask, if the development of a people rest on the respect of democratic principles and practices how would Africa achieve this feat when the poor are marginalized in getting access to such basic amenities. There’s a need for accountability and responsibility. Transparency International estimates that around 75m people in sub Saharan Africa have paid a bribe in the past year with the poor having to make twice those payments.
One of the rippling effect is the Corruption-Trickle-Down-Syndrome. Corrupt political leaders’ lust to amass wealth at the detriment of Africans has been passed down like folklore to other civil servants. Majority of the civil servants are living like piggy boxes-taking bribes from the very people they are to serve and fattening their pockets. It must be emphasized that the continuous occurrence of bribery undermines citizens security and the rule of law.
It’s astonishing that these bribes are paid to facilitate the delivery of services which are already catered for in their taxes. The greed is impeccably alarming. Africa cannot toe this line if it expects to see any meaningful socio economic developments. Deterring mechanisms must be put In place to alienate this canker. The police service which has been one of the institutions characterized by this act needs a shake –heads roll.
Kumssa(2015)asserts that police corruption undermines public trust in the institution and impairs effective enforcement of the law.
Development and standards are maintained when the responsible individuals who support in making them real and active, perform their functions properly. When those who are supposed to perform certain tasks on a particular project are messing up due to their high selfish interest and corruption, the project will not in any way be achieved.
The police and courts-institutions which exist to safeguard citizens rights are seen as the most corrupt. There’s a need for accountability.
Are we to continue wallowing in half-baked development due to selfish and corrupt political leaders? In the words of Obama, ‘Africa doesn’t need strong men, it needs strong institutions”-one way of achieving this is by ensuring accountability and responsibility on the part of governments and civil servants.
The ammunition of words above have been leveled at corrupt political leaders but the onus lies on us as citizens to act our part. We must be conscientised to stop engaging in corrupt activities. “If there’s nothing to give then there will be nothing to receive”,
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