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Challenges in Social Integrity: Corruption

Introduction

Corruption is the acts of influencing activities, which are supposed to benefit the public to one's advantage unfairly. It is a mean act that ensures the person or people with greater influence in a given case get the higher had at the expense of other people. Corruption is a mean that is well exhibited in various levels of the society from the international level, national level and even local level.

Worldwide, the corruption level of a country is measured by assessing the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which is carried out by the Transparency International (TI). This organization bases its research and findings from information gotten from thirteen organizations dealing with finances. These include Africa Development Bank, the Bertelsmann Foundation, Global Insight, International Institute for Management Development, Economist Intelligence Unit, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, Political Risk Services, the World Economic Forum, the World Justice Project, Freedom House and the World Bank (Sampford-2006). All these are free financial institutions conduct surveys that include assessment of performance and asking opinions from business people (Bardhan-1997).

Research conducted by TI also shows that there is a close relation between the economic performance of a country, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as the corruption levels (CPI). With every increase of the CPI score, it was noted that there was a 1.7% increase in the GDP. Therefore many foreign investors use the CPI to assess the viability of a certain market, such that a low high CPI leads to low foreign investment. This is because the corruption prevalence levels are high (Mo-2001).

In 2012, a study was carried out to assess the CPI it was found out that Somali, North Korea, Sudan, Myanmar, Uzbekistan and Iraq are among the most corrupt countries. Among the least corrupt countries include the Scandinavian and Baltic states. These are Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Also, New Zealand and Australia, Singapore and Switzerland add to the list of least corrupt countries.

The disputed elections that occurred in 2007 in Kenya, an East African country are one of the major examples of corruption. It is noted in the witnesses gotten from various inquiries that instead of the incumbent president to wait for settlement of the dispute, he allowed being sworn in the night. This was a rather peculiar act since such things occur in broad daylight. It is actually s big occasion, like the inauguration of the American president. This showed high corruption levels in the judiciary system of the country.

Approach Taken By World Leaders to Resolve Corruption

To curb corruption, world leaders have agreed to work for hand in hand together with international agencies such as the European Union and United Nations to reduce corruption.

Countries with high rates of corruption and misuse of public funds are warned by the international community against the vice. If the warning is not heed, consultations are done and the country is imposed with sanctions. These include cutting on import and export trade between the countries and its principle trade partners. Most of the principle partners are developed countries. Sanctions are very dangerous to an economy since they can cause major economic deterioration. Imagine a country with limited or no exportation. This means that the country cannot earn foreign exchange through the trade. Therefore, there is shortage of funds for the governments, recurrent expenditure as well as infrastructural development. All these eventually lead to a reduction in foreign investment, which leads to a stagnant or even deteriorating economy. A deteriorating economy means increased unemployment, high inflation rates, wage cuts, poor living standards and therefore rise in industrial unrests. This is what is happening to countries such as North Koreas and Zimbabwe.

Additionally, the world leaders and leading economies decide to cut on relief fund and donor fund from their countries. Independent financial institution such as Africa Development Bank and World Bank, reduce or cease completely their involvement in funding government projects. This is then passed to the government, and therefore to the consumers in form of high taxes. The high taxes are meant to replace the funds which were being received from these independent financial bodies. Also, institutions agree not to allow the country in question access to credit facilities (Klitgaard-1991).

Assets of leaders who are corrupt are subjected to freezing. This is always an effort to push the corrupt leaders to give up power and allow competent leaders to replace them. Some of the assets, especially those acquired illegally are returned back to the state care and control if the leader steps down. Some corrupt leaders have been forcefully removed out of power through military action. Among them include the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Charles Taylor of Liberia and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya (Scott-1972).

I personally highly recommend these methods used by the world leaders to curb corruption. It is unfair for the developed countries to work for the financial funding given to the underdeveloped countries only to have it misused by an individual. However, these developed countries should not use their powers also to influence decisions in the developing world. That is corruption.

At the individual level, the corrupt leaders, especially in countries with well systems of government are asked to step down. After that, investigations are done and if found responsible for corrupt acts, the culprits are taken to court and charged. At times, a leader is only asked to resign.

Recommended Approach to Curb Corruption

As much as a corrupt country should be dealt with in order to eradicate the vice, the leaders are mostly responsible. Therefore, it is relatively unfair to allow one person to cause suffering of many other people. One might argue that it is the people who choose the leaders and so they are equally responsible. This might not necessarily be the case because most of the leaders of corrupt countries are not democratic. Good examples are Zimbabwe and North Korea.

Countries which give donor and relief funds to the developing countries which seem to be corrupt should use the embassies and high commissions to channel the funds. Instructions should then be given to the embassies on how to distribute the funds. In such cases, the foreign countries should work out mechanisms that foster direct and close interactions between their diplomats and the communities they serve.

Secondly, use of independent charity organizations should be embraced. There are organizations such as the Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance, World Vision, USAID and UKAID which carry out their operations mostly in the developing world. These organizations should be used, in the event of a corrupt government system to manage funds. Also, the independent financial institutions should demand self-management of the financial reliefs they give to the corrupt governments.

Necessary laws should also be put in place to ensure that leaders who are corrupt are answerable to their sins. If the local judiciary system is compromised, there should be a statue enforced to allow the establishment of an international corruption court just like the Hague based International Criminal Court. All the governments of the world, especially the developed and emerging economies should be encouraged to be signatories to set an example to the less developed states. This will ensure free and fair prosecution and verdict. The courts should be independent of the influence of whomever, no matter how powerful they are. This will boost its integrity and people's confidence in it.