[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Corruption
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Sep 24 10:13:44 BST 2008
(With the great chimurenga musician Thomas Mapfumo spending next week in
Durban at the Centre for Creative Art's Poetry Africa festival, I hope
we get to hear his wonderful 1989 tune "Corruption, in the society." It
made such a difference to public discourse when I lived in Harare,
opening up a broad crit of Mugabe's cronies just after the Willowvale
car distribution scandal. And it's long overdue to talk about 'austerity
for the corrupt', for the parasites around Mugabe and Gono - and about
generosity for the povo, don't you think? In Zim and SA both, for that
SA drops places in corruption survey
September 24 2008 at 07:23AM
South Africa has plummeted 11 places in a global corruption survey that
has seen Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand ranked as the least corrupt
countries in the world and Somalia as the most.
Last year, South Africa was ranked 43rd in the world with a rating of
5.1 out of a potential 10 points on Transparency International's (TI)
2008 Corruption Perceptions Index.
This year the country slipped to 54th position with a 4.9 rating.
Stopping bent practices such as cronyism and embezzlement can save lives
in poor countries, Transparency International said on Tuesday as
Somalia, Iraq and Myanmar again came bottom in its global corruption
Zimbabwe is also very far down the list, ranked at 166 with a rating of
only 1.8. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and
Sudan are the other African countries rated below Zimbabwe on a list
that numbers 180 overall positions.
"In the poorest countries, corruption levels can mean the difference
between life and death, when money for hospitals or clean water is in
play," TI said. "The continuing high levels of corruption and poverty
plaguing many of the world's societies amount to an ongoing humanitarian
disaster and cannot be tolerated," the organisation's head, Huguette
Rampant corruption in low-income countries also jeopardises the global
fight against poverty and threatens to derail the UN Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs), according to the report.
This "calls for a more focused and co-ordinated approach by the global
donor community to ensure development assistance is designed to
strengthen institutions of governance and oversight in recipient
countries, and that aid flows themselves are fortified against abuse and
graft", TI said.
It estimates that unchecked levels of corruption would add $50-billion,
or nearly half of annual global aid outlays, to the cost of achieving
the MDGs on water and sanitation.
Somalia, the east African nation without a functioning government since
1991, scored just 1.0 point on TI's range of between zero, which is
highly corrupt, and 10, which is very clean.
The score is based on perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by
business people and country analysts. The places where officials were
seen as least likely to line their own pockets were Denmark, Sweden and
New Zealand, sharing first place with a score of 9.3 points, ahead of
Singapore in fourth and Finland and Switzerland in joint fifth.
In 2007 Denmark, Finland and New Zealand shared the top spot.
But TI was also critical of some wealthy nations that registered
significant drops in the global rankings, such as Britain, whose score
fell to 7.7 points from 8.4 in 2007.
Britain fell to 16th in the rankings from 12th in 2007.
The continuing emergence of foreign bribery scandals indicates a broader
failure by the world's wealthiest countries to live up to the promise of
mutual accountability in the fight against corruption, TI said.
"This sort of double standard is unacceptable and disregards
international legal standards," said Labelle. "Beyond its corrosive
effects on the rule of law ... (it) undermines the credibility of the
wealthiest nations in calling for greater action to fight corruption by
low-income countries." - Sapa-AFP
o This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria
News on September 24, 2008
More information about the Debate-list