Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2003-09-12 Reporter: Professor Tuntufye S Mwamwenda

Declaration of War Against Corruption



Mail and Guardian, Letters

Date 2003-09-12


Professor Tuntufye S Mwamwenda

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The Mail and Guardian stands to be saluted for the hardline it has consistently and fearlessly taken against corruption in South Africa in particular and Africa in general. In line with this stance, the current issue of M & G (29/8) has addressed this matter extensively. Nothing short of this will wrestle corruption to the ground. It must be fought and exposed wherever it may be found particularly in high places where it flourishes by leaps and bounds with impunity.

In keeping with this, Hennie van Vuuren's (challenging the corrupters) article on corruption is significant to note. In this article, it is argued that like has been happening in Lesotho, both those who are instruments of corruption (foreign corporations) as well as those who benefit from such curruption (individuals) should be taken to task. This would be a more comprehensive approach and probably more effective though difficult and costly in stamping out corruption.

While such approach is plausible, I would propose that the most important approach would be starting within each individual country with its citizenry. I have lived in both Canada and the United States of America where the question of using bribes in conducting business with African countries has been debated repeatedly. The answers from those using this approach has been that no business transaction is possible with African countries without the use of kickbacks. Therefore they have no choice, but to use kickbacks which their own government and people have found questionable and contrary to Western economic values.

A survey of many African countries with a few exceptions will corroborate this claim. Unfortuantely too many Africans in leadership positions have a propensity to getting fabulously rich even if this brings their integrity into question.

Let the declaration of war against corruption start with us as Africans and the end results will be those who will crave to corrupt us will find out that we are incorruptible and that we can neither be bought nor sold.

Professor Tuntufye S Mwamwenda, University of Natal, Durban

With acknowledgements to Professor Tuntufye S Mwamwenda and the Mail and Guardian.