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Dora is making a fool of herself

Dora Siliya says Zambia is unparalleled in the fight against corruption. Nonsense!

And it is not those who are speaking against corruption, as Dora claims, who are painting Zambia black but those who are corrupt – those receiving bribes, kickbacks, commissions or cuts.

It’s not possible to explain the sudden wealth of Edgar Lungu and his minions from earned income. It can only come from unearned income. And this itself is prima facie evidence of corruption.

Therefore, Dora is making a fool of herself trying to deny or play down the corruption of this regime which all can see.

It cannot be denied that there’s political corruption in this government. And political corruption is the use of power 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 and money laundering, 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.

Over time, corruption has been defined differently. For example, in a simple context, while performing work for a government or as a representative, it is unethical to accept a gift. Any free gift could be construed as a scheme to lure the recipient towards some biases. In most cases, the gift is seen as an intention to seek certain favours such as work promotion, tipping in order to win a contract.

Some forms of corruption – now called “institutional corruption” – are distinguished from bribery and other kinds of obvious personal gain. A similar problem of corruption arises in any institution that depends on financial support from people who have interests that may conflict with the primary purpose of the institution.

An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under colour of law or involves trading in influence.

A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”.

In politics, corruption undermines democracy and good governance by flouting or even subverting formal processes. Corruption in elections and in the legislature reduces accountability and distorts representation in policymaking; corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law; and corruption in public administration results in the inefficient provision of services. It violates a basic principle of republicanism regarding the centrality of civic virtue. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government if procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and public offices are bought and sold. Corruption undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values as trust and tolerance.

Corruption and bribery can adversely impact trust in institutions. Corruption can also impact government’s provision of goods and services. It increases the costs of goods and services. In the absence of corruption, governmental projects might be cost-effective at their true costs, however, once corruption costs are included projects may not be cost-effective so they are not executed thereby distorting the provision of goods and services.

In the private sector, corruption increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments themselves, the management cost of negotiating with officials and the risk of breached agreements or detection. Although some claim corruption reduces costs by cutting bureaucracy, the availability of bribes can also induce officials to contrive new rules and delays. Openly removing costly and lengthy regulations are better than covertly allowing them to be bypassed by using bribes. Where corruption inflates the cost of business, it also distorts the field of inquiry and action, shielding firms with connections from competition and thereby sustaining inefficient firms.

Corruption may have a direct impact on the firm’s effective marginal tax rate. Bribing tax officials can reduce tax payments of the firm if the marginal bribe rate is below the official marginal tax rate.

Corruption also generates economic distortion in the public sector by diverting public investment into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. Officials may increase the technical complexity of public sector projects to conceal or pave the way for such dealings, thus further distorting investment. Corruption also lowers compliance with construction, environmental, or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on government.

Economists argue that one of the factors behind the differing economic development in Africa and Asia is that in Africa, corruption has primarily taken the form of rent extraction with the resulting financial capital moved overseas rather than invested at home (hence the stereotypical, but often accurate, image of African dictators having Swiss bank accounts).

Corruption facilitates environmental destruction. While corrupt societies may have formal legislation to protect the environment, it cannot be enforced if officials can easily be bribed. The same applies to social rights, worker protection, unionisation and child labour.

Corruption plays a huge role in health care system starting from the hospital, to the government and lifted to the other institutions that promote quality and affordable health care to the people. The efficiency of health care delivery in any country is heavily dependent on accountable and transparent systems, proper management of both financial and human resources and timely supply of services to the vulnerable populace of the nation.

At the basic level, greed skyrockets corruption. When the structure of the health care system is not adequately addressed beginning from oversight in healthcare delivery and supply of drugs and tendering process, mismanagement and misappropriation of funds will always be observed. Corruption also can undermine health care service delivery which in turn disorients the lives of the poor. Corruption leads to violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms as people supposed to benefit from the basic health care from the governments are denied due to unscrupulous processes driven by greed. Therefore, for a country to keep citizens healthy there must be efficient systems and proper resources that can tame the evils like corruption that underpin it.

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