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Governments that steal together, stay together longer

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Waberoya, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Waberoya

    Waberoya JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Apr 2, 2009
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    Kindly read this!!!

    Governments that steal together, stay together longer

    Nicholas Sengoba

    Recently a correspondent asked an interesting question. “If as is said that corruption is a cancer that slowly but surely eats away the heart and soul of a society, why is it that the more corrupt a government is, the higher its chances of staying in power much longer?”

    Then she gave examples; Mobutu’s Zaire, Omar Bongo’s Gabon, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Moi’s Kenya, Museveni’s Uganda etc. before concluding that the logical thing was for such countries is to crumble under the weight of their own inefficiency.

    The rather naïve assumption here is that citizens who are affected by the absence of social services eaten away by corruption will at most rise up and kick the government out of power or at least vote it out of office.

    Before mulling over this question that helps broaden the understanding of corruption as a tool of governance, there are some striking observations.

    Besides these countries not being democracies worth mentioning, they are endowed with enormous natural and human resources yet they are home to hordes to some of the poorest people on earth whose affinity to accept bad leadership is overwhelmingly high.

    Corrupt governments thrive very favourably in this environment because corruption per se is not an end result of failure by a government that has tried all it can to deliver; it is the sum total of deliberate actions meant for empowering the leaders by creating a wide gap between them and the vastly impoverished and deprived mass of ordinary citizens.

    The economic equation here sees to it that an economy is crudely placed in the hands of a few individuals who easily and fraudulently access public finance with impunity while the majority are pushed onto the fringes barely surviving and desperately waiting for hand outs by being “nice” to those who rob them masquerading as their leaders.

    A small but influential clique of individuals emerges with the top most leader (President, King or Prime Minister) impressing mainly two important facts upon the privileged ruling class that first he is the source of their wealth. Secondly, that in the interest of protecting their possessions, it is important that he (the Supreme leader) is protected and remains in charge for as long as possible.

    In other words, working in the President’s interest is the same as working for one’s own concerns and vice versa.

    That then sets off the blatant thievery. Reprimanding the corrupt becomes the equivalent of “working against the President.”

    It is this attitude that once prompted Uganda’s Prime Minister Prof. Apolo Robin Nsibambi to caution the ruling party’s MPs who sit on oversight committees of Parliament not to be “too harsh” on corrupt government officials when they appear before them because it “spoils” the name of the government and jeopardises government programmes.

    But it is what happens to the victims of corruption (the ones who may not access drugs, or whose children receive shambolic education because someone high up has pocketed the money intended for the same) that is even more fundamental in this set up.

    These people are ever desperate, sick, tired, hungry, frustrated and angry; conditions which make them grateful for merely existing to the next poor meal and next day if it comes. They are physically weak and carry crushed spirits leaving them no time to spare to effectively understand their plight and hold those that subjugate them accountable.

    Another small group that would be of use, the elite are equally powerless for the reason that most of them are employees also known as “corporates.”

    Since the major part of the economy in these sorts of corrupt countries is either controlled by privileged government supporters or by pampered foreign investors, it is easy to muzzle most of the workforce and keep them in check by simply calling on their employer to sack of demote them.

    The self employed on the other hand are in no better position either. Because these economies are small it is possible to trace those that they deal with and threaten them with sanctions.

    One of the most common examples of this is seen in private and independent newspapers that are often described as “anti-government.”

    Several public and even private businesses which claim to be apolitical are reluctant to place adverts in such papers for fear of being seen as supporting “the government’s enemies.” For this reason many stories even in the public domain are either watered down or never see the light of day.

    So the next time you hear a minister presenting another anti corruption bill in Parliament to add onto the long list of laws that have miserably failed to fight the vice, take him seriously at your own risk and peril. There is such a thing as playing to the gallery. The only way an inept ruling clique also known as a government can stay on top of you for long is by robbing you and leaving you with nothing.


    Source: Monitor-Uganda,

    Monitor Online | Opinions | Governments that steal together, stay together longer
     
  2. Semilong

    Semilong JF-Expert Member

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    kwa mlio kuwa bongo hivi mwanahalisi wanapata matangazoo?
     
  3. Kikojozi

    Kikojozi JF-Expert Member

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    This article is spot on!

    It precisely depicts what is going on in our "young democracy" nations.

    How do we bridge the knowledge gap between the ruling elite and the majority wretched wananchi?

    Lets discuss...
     
  4. Kikojozi

    Kikojozi JF-Expert Member

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    I like this.

    WanaJF wengi assume along these lines.
     
  5. Waberoya

    Waberoya JF-Expert Member

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    I believe tukiweza kutegua mtego huu, wa hii article ya jamaa, tutakuwa tuko mbali sana....
     
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