Corruption is Always a Good Story

Look at these quotes about corruption.

  • Material corruption of the highest magnitude seems to be flourishing in African public life (1)
  • The speed which with 
people in authority amass personal wealth can only point to the assumption that they use their public positions to get rich as soon as possible (2)
  • Although several governments have advisory commissions to suppress corruption and have anti-corruption officers, these measures are ineffective. (3)
  • The president has decreed that all ministers declare their wealth but has exempted himself  (4)
  • The prime minister has in 2 years since taking office, been able to purchase property ten times his net worth, and completed 4 houses. He also owns proportion Washington that he rents out t o the Embassy (5)
  • What worries me is that those in power are not really affected by what we are writing (6)

Obote coverThese are now new, but are from an article called Corruption in African Public Life, that was published in the East Africa Journal (does it still exist?) in November, 1967. That issue had Uganda President Milton Obote on the cover and cost Sh 2.25.

While it warned, in 1965, that corruption was the greatest single cause of the fall of governments in Ghana, Nigeria,  and Sierra Leone, it also noted, in a philosophical perspective, that corruption was not East African creation, and that Plato,  in his “Republic” had posed that leaders should not own any possessions except their power, they should live in communes and not marry. Also that, in East Africa, only Tanzania has taken concrete steps to fight corruption, through the Arusha declaration which banned capitalism &  feudalism, the holding of directorships in private companies, receiving more than one salary, and owning houses to be rented to the government.

 Re: the quotes above:

  • (4) was Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana.
  • (5) was Sir Albert, in 1967 Sierra Leone.
  • (6) was Kenya’s Sunday Nation quoting Chinua Achebe.