Malawi has been grappling with a number of social problems such as illiteracy, high levels of poverty and corruption, among others. Corruption, particularly in government, has been recognised as one of the biggest monsters because of its adverse effects on economic and social development since it diverts resources from legitimate causes beneficial to society.
Corruption restricts millions of people on a daily basis from enjoying their human rights and fundamental freedoms; hence, contributing to the perpetuation of poverty and hindering economic opportunity. The collective recognition of the challenges posed by corruption should, therefore, be enough justification to report any form of corrupt conduct.
Corruption remains a menace that can wreak havoc to any society because it negatively affects majority of the vulnerable population. Corruption is a common enemy because it affects all classes of people in a society. Every citizen, therefore, has a duty to report corruption to avert its consequences.
The beauty about reporting corruption is that it helps to identify and expose perpetrators of this dangerous vice. Reporting helps expose corrupt activities and risks that may, otherwise, remain hidden. It provides assurances that dishonest practices are disrupted and stopped.
Information contained in complaints helps institutions that are mandated to fight corruption like Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to take action on perpetrators. Reporting corruption also sends a strong message to would-be offenders that they will be exposed and taken to task.
Patriotic citizens take time to reflect on the fact that they are key partners in the fight against corruption. Corrupt practices typically thrive when citizens are unaware of their rights and feel powerless to take action. Patriots report corruption to save their country from destruction. Therefore, every citizen is a key stakeholder in the fight against corruption and should expose anyone engaging in the vice regardless of their status.
Another justification for reporting corruption is that, if left unchecked, it diverts resources meant for programmes, services and projects that could have benefited the community. When corrupt people, particularly those in the civil service, take what is not theirs, they are robbing the public. They, therefore, need to be reported to stop them from further abusing the public purse.
Every citizen should report corruption because it is an obligation for any responsible citizen to do so. Even if it is not an obligation by law, a sense of justice, fairness and integrity should motivate us to report this type of conduct. And if all that fails to resonate, citizens must report corruption because, ultimately, it is in our own best interests to do so.
It is high time corruption got associated with matters of life and death in Malawi. I advance this argument because when public officers act in their own vested interests while disregarding the interests of others, they put everyone’s’ life at risk. Who would jump into a minibus driven by an incompetent driver, who did not earn their drivers license, but bribed a road traffic examiner?
How many of us would want to be treated at a hospital that passed inspection because of a bribe paid to the person conducting inspection? If we know that someone is doing the wrong thing and we do nothing to stop them, we will all be less safe and it is possible that one day, someone might pay with their life.
Corruption is a deadly cancer which, if allowed to creep in society, can have devastating consequences. Report corruption <http://icac.sa.gov.au/content/make-online-complaint-or-report> not just because it is an obligation, but because it is the right thing to do and it is in our collective interest.