Dear Editor – The above caption on the SIBC online website captured my attention as soon as I got there (http://www.sibconline.com.sb/d-c-c-closer-to-establish-anti-corruption-body/).
While I think this is a very good idea, I like to suggest that the composition of the members to this body should be people with credible standing in our society. It would be interesting to know the TOR for this body and how much independence it would get from the sticky, protruding noses of the politicians who once sensing their integrity is on the line would start meddling up in its affairs.
I say this because the way I see it, it is only a duplication of the functions already played by the Leadership Code Commission, the Ombudsman’s office, the Auditor General’s office and even civil society groups like the FSII and others.
I see this as a demand by outside pressure to the government to do more in tackling corruption. But the bottom line is the people and in our country, the leaders and some people with influence such as businessmen with money.
If the mentioned organs instituted by the government to monitor our people’s integrity became failures as I have seen for too long, then what would an anti-corruption body going to do?
The very same people who made sure those other organs do not put them on the spotlight, let alone charge them with misconduct and corruption are the ones who are about to usher in a body to do a check and balance on themselves as a rubber stamp to satisfy international pressure.
One would think that if this is what actually comes from the MPs, then the first things to address are the issues at hand which the civil society is crying foul about right now. These are corruption issue, aren’t they?
Yet, you see them in that photo with the above headline telling us they are about to establish an anti-corruption body. WHAT HYPOCRISY AT ITS BEST!
The point is, what use would an anti-corruption body be to us if the other bodies mentioned, including the opposition who is the government’s watch-dog’s barkings are not adhered to?
Evri system hem oraet nomoa ia oloketa. Iumi man na need fo changim way blo umi!
Till that is done, this new body is only a re-inventing of the wheel, which at the end of the day take us to a destination called “NOWHERE”, and ended up stopping at “BACK TO SQUARE ONE”.
The systems mentioned often tell us that they could only investigate, but they do not have the teeth to bite. Let’s hope this new body have some vampire teeth to not only bite, but suck blood also so as to kill corrutption in our country. That’s where the Terms of References come in.
Finally, let me reiterate that the body must be totally neutral and its composition be spread along all walks of life in our society and people with integrity, credibility and trust.
Till then, I’ll cross my finger and do a little game called “wait and see”.
Nadi, Fiji Islands