Opinion: Why corruption is a poison that ruin individuals and South Sudan

By Deng Mawien Bol

South Sudan's regime leader, Salva Kiir Mayardit, in a past photo(Photo: supplied/file)
South Sudan’s regime leader, Salva Kiir Mayardit, in a past photo(Photo: supplied/file)

May 2, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – Allow me to present my point of view particularly on corruption in South Sudan but first; I would like to apologize to the readers in advance incase if my opinion may offend you.

To begin; I would like to define corruption according to my perspective and understanding. Therefore; Corruption is an act performed deliberately that reduces the authenticity and quality of the nation. Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement.

Corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and Human trafficking, though it is not restricted to these activities. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is also considered political corruption.

People explain corruption as one simple thing statement, I had some urgency and had to get this thing done quickly or pay us for drinks (sharap moya in Juba Arabic) to get your thing done quickly.  But my dear readers, this simple statement is so damaging, it directly hits on our country’s image. Young man once joke to his girlfriend that “my love for you is like corruption in South Sudan, it will never end” which i personally believe he is right.

We as individuals should understand that by giving money for getting our work done helps us in quick execution but deep within, it is deteriorating the quality of our life. It builds a bad image of the country and leads to lowering of our country’s ratings. It does not seem to be a big deed that we pay an extra amount or what I may say as bribe to some people for taking some advantage from them. But, believe me that deep down, it kills the ethical traits or values of the people.

This (Corruption) inherited value reduction is not only for the person who take the bribe but also for the person who gives it. Corruption is the hurdle between the country’s and individual’s authentic prosperity and development. It affects the growth and development of the nation in all aspects like socially, culturally, economically and politically.

Ever since the formation of our country, everything is dictated by the political leaders and people ruling in the government sectors. Apparently we are a democratic country, but whosoever comes into the power tries to misuse that power for his/her personal gains, for acquiring wealth and luxury. The common people, as always, find themselves in a state of deprivation. Corruption is also the unfair use of public power for some private advantages by breaking all or few of the rules and regulations made by the government. One common form of corruption in our country is within the recruitment process whereby families of elites and their in-laws take over all the jobs without proper education and experiences. Take examples from oil companies that are operating currently in South Sudan and National Ministries, meanwhile elites and families are the one dominating private sector.

In our country today, the gap between the haves and have-nots is so huge that it becomes a clear example of corruption in our country where one section of society acquires richness and wealth and on the other hand the majority of the masses remain below the poverty line. This is the reason why economy of certain nations is facing a decline.

Yet another important reason behind corruption is the non-transparency of bureaucratic and governmental functions. In particular, the institutions that are run under the government show moral laxity and brush under the carpet serious issues. The money that should be used for the uplifting of poor people is gobbled up by the politicians themselves.

Even worse, the people who are not affluent and cannot bribe the people in power are not able to get their work done and hence their files are fated to meet the dust instead of stimulating action. Clearly, any growing economy would come falling down when corrupt officials hold the reign of a country.

If we are a responsible citizen of our country, we should understand that this corruption is eating into our nation’s economic growth like a termite and is giving rise to crime in our society. If the majority section of our society will continue to live in deprivation and poverty and will not find any employment opportunity, the crime rate will never come down.

Poverty will destroy people’s ethics and morals and would result in an increase in hatred amongst the people. It is high time for us to address this issue and fight it in order to pave way for the holistic growth of our country.

If one were to think and evaluate the causes behind corruption, then it could be countless. However, the most glaring reason responsible for the vicious spread of corruption, I believe, is the people’s non-serious attitude towards the governmental rules and laws and the sheer inertia of government towards those who spread evil in society.

It appears that the ones who are employed to put an end to corruption have themselves become complicit in the crime and are encouraging it.

Strict actions should be documented in policies and should necessarily be implemented on those who practice corruption for their greed.

I am glad that I chose this important topic. I request you all to please make it a habit to stop corruption. The situation has become very tense and unless the general public takes proactive measures and becomes vigilant, the corruption cannot be uprooted from our society. So come let’s join hands and fight against corruption.

The author is a South Sudanese concerned citizen, he can be reached via: dengmalaria@gmail.com

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