Of recent more and more Batswana have started to pay attention to the way the country is being run, and whether the country’s resources are put to good use to benefit each and every citizen.
There has been reports of corruption, where accusing fingers have been pointed at those in power and their allies or close associates. When compared to other countries, Botswana has continued to enjoy somewhat good corruption ratings according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
In 2017, Botswana scored 61 out of 100, a score that some people seem content with, when in actual fact, it should challenge each and every Motswana, to ensure that our lovely country is as close to 100 as possible.
But do we believe this rating is what is actually on the ground? In recent years, we have seen troubling reports on corrupt practices that take place in different government departments. While some of the cases were widely reported in the media, there are many other cases that go unnoticed nor unreported. Many people in business, especially those who rely on government tenders, know quite well that it is not easy to get tenders, unless one has connections.
While the government has been trying hard to tighten its procedures when it comes to awarding of tenders, some still find loopholes and award tenders, not based on merit, but rather on what they as individuals will get out of that. The University of Botswana in collaboration with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) will host an academic symposium on ethics, under the theme: ‘United Against Corruption for Development, Peace and Security’ on January 31, 2019.
Perhaps this is what the doctor ordered, and we should be seeing more and more meetings of this nature, so that all concerned can be equipped with relevant information to better their understanding of corruption issues.
The symposium is open to all construction industry practitioners, government procurement and project management personnel, procurement and construction associations, scholars and students amongst others. Let us hope those who will attend the symposium will go there thirsty of knowledge, not to just while away time.
Let us work together to rid our beautiful country of corruption, and ensure that resources benefit the whole population instead of being restricted to a select few.