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Corruption is deadlier than drug, alcohol abuse

MMEGI EDITOR
There is euphoria in the air.

Every evening, BTV beams faces of suspected criminals- drug dealers, drug users, fraudsters, to those who allegedly stole government furniture and other goods.

The government has in the last four years publicised in its Daily News, names of drunken driving conicts, and has recently announced its intentions to publish the names of paedophiles and other sex offenders. These are commendable efforts to guard against crimes of all forms from taking root in our society. For that, we applaud the police for their fight against crime. However, the damage these crimes cause to society is insignificant compared to what corruption can do, or is doing to the nation.

Corruption involves loss of millions, or even billions, of pula that were to be spent on public projects but had disappeared without a trace with nobody being held accountable. Corruption occurs at various stages such as tendering, procurement and approval of poor quality work on government projects. Corruption is the reason why there are no drugs in hospitals; no water in our homes yet the national dams are full; no classrooms for our children; no hospitals in some parts of the country, forcing patients to travel many kilometres to the nearest health facility.

Corruption is the reason why unemployment has gone up and foreign investors avoid our country like a plague. We therefore urge the authorities to review the Directorate

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on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) Act to allow the director general to also authorise or release information on suspects under investigation as the current law prohibits the director from releasing such, or confirm that indeed So-and-So is under investigation. This will deter aspiring corruptors or individuals from conducting or taking part in corrupt transactions. It is our position that a suspect found in possession of dagga is as innocent as an someone suspected of corruption until they have been proven guilty by the courts.

For the national television to beam footage of suspected criminals every evening is just a distraction or diversion of attention from the big problem of corruption that involves big people. We hope that in the near future, BTV will also beam ministers, or senior government officials caught in the act, and appearing in court to face serious charges of corruption or even drug dealing. We also hope that amid this television frenzy and excitement, our police will not forget to follow all procedures to gather evidence to secure a conviction in court.

Today’s thought

Corruption is a cancer: a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity; already-tight national budgets, crowding out important national investments. It wastes the talent of entire generations. It scares away investments and jobs.

 

– Joe Biden



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