The President and Corruption

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Farayi Munyuki Last week, the President spelt out the dangers that corruption can cause to a country in very strong terms. The President said corruption can destroy democracy, it can undermine confidence investors have in Namibia. Corruption has pushed some African countries to the brink of disaster. Corruption has been rife in certain African countries. At least in Namibia it is being fought from all fronts. Those who have been corrupt have been condemned in all spheres. That is what African leaders should do. They should not show any mercy to those who are corrupt within their administrations. They should leave no stone unturned. Corruption is cancerous – it destroys the very fabric of a good government. Ghana’s first government collapsed because corruption was allowed to grow and deepen its roots. Most governments then went into abyss because corruption was allowed to take its roots then. Corruption is a killer of good governance. Corruption reaps where it has not sowed. Fighting corruption requires strong and determined leadership. It is a disease that requires both hands and should not be treated with kid gloves. It may be better to perhaps follow the example of the Chinese. They treat their prisoners in such a way that they do not want to go back to prison again. Few upon their release ever want to return, because the experience is so memorable and no one ever wants to repeat it. That is what is required for those who are caught in corruption cases. Corruption is everywhere in the region. In certain countries a child is only admitted into school if the headmaster has been greased enough. In yet other countries where food is in short supply, you need to promise a percentage of your own money to a cash tailor so as to get a portion of it or you will wait in the queue for the whole day. This is the case with mealie meal and other food commodities. Now with the shortage of petrol, only the very corrupt can get access to this golden liquid. Although the government in this particular country has taken some strong measures, they have not been able to stem the rise in corruption. Even when it jailed its minister of finance, among corrupt people he was seen as a hero. In a country where foreign currency is hard to come by, he managed to build two houses in South Africa. How was this possible? Corruption in this case had managed to live and operate within the ministry of finance. How far had it gone into other branches of government? The stand that President Pohamba has taken so far is to be applauded, before corruption engulfs us all.