Former republican president Rupiah Banda says the fight against corruption inAfricaand other continents has become corrupted because authorities use it as an instrument to pressure their political opponents, pursue personal grievances, or even use it as an instrument against investors and business competitors adding that the fight against corruption should not be selective.
He urged African government to support the fight against corruption by using robust legal framework and independent institutions like an independent judiciary, anti corruption agencies and law enforcements that uphold the rule of law and can carry out efficient prosecutions.
Mr Banda said that when corruption depletes national resources; the citizens of African countries are always deprived of their rights to development.
“Africais composed of young nations, poor nations whose people have only tasted freedom for a handful of decades. We are only considered successful when we are able to organize elections, keep the armies in the barracks and maintain economic growth above 5 per cent” he said.
Addressing the Crans Montana Forum inSwitzerlandon October 18, Mr Banda said success inAfricawould only be defined if much more was done to create more job opportunities, education, social development and run an efficient delivery of services to the citizens.
Mr Banda said citizens are deprived a generation of their opportunities with devastating consequences when national resources are taken hostage by private individuals and government officials instead of dedicating them to social and infrastructure development.
“Because the fight against corruption is so important, we accept form over content and take rhetoric at face value without seeing what is actually being done to fight corruption but the tactics implemented may not constitute best practices,” he said.
He maintained that “Anti-corruption efforts should focus on building a solid institutional framework that can pursue cases based on real evidence and rights to defence” he said.
Mr Banda said African countries are faced with enormous inefficiencies with their anti-corruption bodies absorbing huge budgets to pursue petty cases instead of working together to secure meaningful investigations.
“Corruption feeds on inequality and weak institutions. It wants to live in systems that fail to provide to the people, where bribes and kickbacks are simply crimes but methodologies of survival, definitions of success,” he said.
Mr Banda said corruption enjoys and encourages poor governance through a self reinforcing cycle of a failure to deliver services and the exacerbation of the gap between the rich and the poor.