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Letters

Include the youth in war against corruption

Integrity Centre
Integrity Centre. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

According to the latest World Economic Forum report, corruption is costing the global economy $3.6 billion dollars every year in both rich and poor countries hurting poor people disproportionately.

The African Development Bank has also reported that the cost of corruption in Africa is higher than the total combined amount of development aid.

Corruption compromises the future of young people as well as their development and drains resources that would have otherwise been used to develop infrastructure and provide social services for sustainable development.

Since the fight against corruption gained momentum, considerable amount of progress has been recorded such as recovery of assets by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

However there is a lot to be done. It is evident that fighting corruption is complex because in most cases it is not a direct offence but organised crimes involving multiple players, complicated multiple legal assistance systems and crossing borders to gather credible, compelling and convincing evidence that can be sustained in a court of law.

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Frustrations and painfully slow processes characterise anticorruption efforts. Meanwhile young people are losing out on opportunities to shape the future that they want for themselves.

Clearly disrupting corruption before it happens is the only viable option currently available. Young people should decide the kind of country they would want to be bequeathed and thereafter fight for it. One of the strategies that they can use is to organise themselves into credible groups to proactively and seamlessly participate in all planning and budgeting process at all levels in meaningful ways.

Recently it was discovered that some public officers are integrating corruption in the budgeting and planning process. Young people should hold leaders accountable and seal all possible areas of pilferage and wastes.

Well neat co-ordination and synergy across departments and agencies should be aggressively pursued to ensure efficiency and cost management.

Secondly, they should relentlessly follow through commitments to fighting corruption. Life style audit is an area that they should exploit. They already have the political goodwill and the onus of agitating to ensure the commitment is implemented both at national and county levels lies with them.

Those expressing interest to take leadership positions should lay bare their assets and liabilities and when they acquire wealth that cannot be explained young people should demand accountability.

Finally, assessing value of proposed development projects. Young professionals should take it upon themselves to assess the value of proposed development projects and clearly map out direct and indirect benefits. Failure to do this, we shall continue to see projects being implemented but not translating to valuable and life transforming outcomes.

Dr Kellen Kiambati, senior lecturer, Karatina University

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