As a senior Youth Parliamentarian I listened attentively during the May 2018 general election and again this week to the streaming of the Select Committee on the Integrity in Public Life bill.
I admit that I was shocked by the contradictory narratives and allegations surrounding the previous administration when lined up with the modus operandi of our own people (not in the public sphere).
The narrative that I allude to is that the last administration was rife with corruption and malfeasance. I am careful to indicate to you that similar allegations were made leading up to the 2008 General Election (Gems Scandal). Our culture however paints a contradictory image that should leave us all doing introspection.
We claim to hate corruption yet we are satisfied when gaining extra money, a promotion or a job that we did not necessarily deserve or earn.
We claim to hate corruption yet pride ourselves in knowing someone that is able to grant us “favours” while bypassing ordinary protocols and bureaucracies at the expense of an unsuspecting party.
We claim to hate corruption yet rejoice at a change of government because it signals the opportunity to fluff the civil service with political supporters at the expense of workers who work conscientiously and/or qualified.
It appears that we don’t hate corruption, rather we either:
a) Hate certain types of corruption
b) Hate corruption when we aren’t the sole beneficiary.
According to Transparency International’s website; “Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain…”. It can be classified as grand, petty and political. Even within those classifications, corruption can be narrowed further to what is practiced liberally within our own landscape.
This leads me to conclude we hate corruption ONLY when we aren’t the beneficiary, considering the fact that we practice it openly as seen with Nepotism & Cronyism, Abuse of Power and Influence Peddling when it is of interest to us, our friends or family. Recent societal discussion however would highlight that the moment we become the victims we wish for ‘heads on a platter’.
So I ask the question, do we really hate corruption or do we hate overt corruption practiced by politicians.
Our actions indicate it is the latter.