WINDHOEK– Joining the world in commemorating the world International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, Youth Corner’s Sabina Elago talks to the Speaker of the 4th session of the Children’s Parliament of the Republic of Namibia, Sandré Botma, to gauge how Namibian youth and the future leaders are involved in the fight against corruption and if they perhaps know anything about corruption and the observance of this day?
What do you understand by corruption?
Corruption has various meanings and definitions, however when looking at “corrupt” one would see that this literally means “utterly broken”. Thus, it would be safe to say that corruption refers to acts in which the boundary between right and wrong is broken down into a “grey area” often manifested by fraud, theft, nepotism and the abuse of power. Although many believe that corruption only refers to illegal acts, it’s not quite true and one needs to acknowledge the fact that corruption describes any act in which values and ethics are abandoned in order to benefit the abandoner or associates thereof.
Is there corruption in Namibia?
Unfortunately we live in a world in which self empowerment had become such an “addiction” that it has become evident that people all over the world tend to alter or push boundaries in order to benefit themselves. I believe trying so single out one country in which no citizen has ever broken the boundaries previously referred to will serve to be a rather impossible task.
Which is the leading body in Namibia in the fight against corruption?
The most acknowledged and best known anti-corruption body within Namibia would have to be the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
How successful do you think this body has been in fighting corruption?
The ACC chooses to engage on all levels of society. The Children’s Parliament largely advocates for the voice of children to be heard and through the work of the ACC in terms of corruption education and awareness, we as parliamentarians can advocate for these voices with the insurance that Namibian children know what is right and wrong. The fact that baseline surveys are conducted on both private and State-owned enterprises eliminates the chances of the ACC being accused of corruption itself, and therefore, it does not only advocate for elimination of corruption, it acts accordingly as well.
What can you do as a youth to help fight corruption?
As the old saying goes “charity begins at home.” Before one can fight corruption in a country or institution, one needs to combat corruption within your own actions and also encourage others to do the same. A large portion of the youth nowadays act the way they do “because of” the things they see, hear and experience. However, amongst ourselves we need to start advocating for a “despite of” mindset in which children will be inspired to follow the narrow road despite of the fact that the road of corruption shouts at the top of its voice. I believe that by being a positive role model one could help and inspire other to be proud of whom they are and what they have achieved. Focus needs to be shifted from “what I have” to “how I got it”, because so often we as the youth look up to people who have lots of money and nice things without knowing their means of obtaining those things. Children need to realise that no amount of money will ever be able to compensate for one’s guilt, conscience or pride. As a youth leader I hope to inspire this change of heart and to set an example to my fellow youth. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I believe in the power of prayer and that change will be possible with help from God.