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Is corruption worse than prostitution in Sierra Leone?

HomeAYV NewsIs corruption worse than prostitution in Sierra Leone?

Is corruption worse than prostitution in Sierra Leone?


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Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, on the other hand, defines corruption as a dishonesty or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority (which in other words is deceitfulness, fraudulence, lying, untruthfulness, treachery, duplicity).

The World Bank defines corruption as “the abuse of public office for private gains. Public office is abused for private gain when an official accepts, solicits or extorts a bribe. It is also abused when private agents actively offer bribes to circumvent public policies and processes for competitive advantage and profit. Public offices can also be abused for personal benefits even if no bribery occurs through patronage, nepotism and political connection, the theft of state assets or the diversion of state revenue.”

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia defines it as “wrongdoing by those in a special position of trust.”

The most common type of corruption is bribery – which refers to the giving or taking of money or any kind of favour in return or exchange for undue advantage over other people. Other types include: abuse of power in any form or degree, extortion, embezzlement, inflation of contracts, kickbacks, diversion of funds, falsification or suppression of record, perversion of justice, electoral malpractices, examination malpractices, drug trafficking, money laundering, abuse of selection processes, nepotism, tribalism, political affiliation, sexual exploitation, gratification, and so on.

Causes of corruption in Sierra Leone:

The main causes of corruption in Sierra Leone  are: greed, lack of positive values, porous systems, weak enforcement and oversight mechanisms, excessive materialism, societal pressure, lack of virile welfare structures, insecurity of employment tenure, indiscipline, Inordinate desire for wealth accumulation (get-rich-quick-syndrome), poverty of the mind, nepotism and tribalism (partiality, favoritism, preferential treatment, bias, discrimination etc), and above of all lack of genuine fear of God.

Effects of corruption on Sierra Leone:

The effects of corruption on Sierra Leone in general are colossal. For example, it undermines the national image – a corruption ridden country stinks among other nations and meaningful investments can neither be attracted nor can developmental cooperation be established because most Sierra Leoneans, especially those in authority, are viewed as corrupt and dubious outside.

Sierra Leone has been consistently ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International. Corruption in this country threatens the very survival of the nation as it prevents the provision of basic social amenities for the citizenry. Money meant for development is often pocketed by those in authority, thereby making good governance impossible. It has affected our health sector, not to talk of our educational institutions. As at today, not even one of the universities in Sierra Leone is rated among the first 200 in the world and none is rated among the best in Africa, not even the then almighty Fourah Bay College. Corruption generally erodes standards to abysmal levels. Quality of goods and services cannot be guaranteed in a corrupt society.

Endemic corruption in Sierra Leone has aggravated unemployment and under development and it has engendered mass poverty and thwarted efforts to overcome it.

Most infrastructural decay and unsatisfactory provision of amenities in the country can be traced directly or indirectly to corruption. Corruption erodes the ethical base of society, as due diligence, excellence, honesty, merit and integrity are discouraged from society. It breeds all kinds of crimes and vandalism – arm robbery, youth agitation etc. Corruption in Sierra Leone has led to massive brain drain – a great number of Sierra Leone’s best brains who refuse to be part of the political propaganda have been driven to other part of the world where they now spearhead developmental and scientific exploits.

Corruption is the bane of Sierra Leone’s socio-economic development, which threatens the existence of the country as a political entity. It is therefore imperative that all and sundry should engage in anti-corruption struggle. This article also examines the state of the country’s media from the perspective of media practitioners.

The menace called corruption is a big problem in Sierra Leone. Corruption is indeed a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of society. It is a monster that all and sundry blame for the economic woes facing the country. This is because corruption is seen as one of the major impediments to the economic development of the nation. It is perhaps the only reason why nothing seems to be working. In fact, corruption is threatening the existence of Sierra Leone as an entity. Nearly every sphere of human endeavour in Sierra Leone is affected by corruption. No profession is spared.

Interestingly, even though successive governments pursued policies against corruption, the act is ever increasing in the country. Sierra Leone is said to have generated huge revenue during the current political dispensation than at other times of her history but that does not reflect on the country and her people.

I wish to state categorically that the Sierra Leone government can only show that it is prepared to fight corruption when it starts the fight from within itself and the justice administration system. Until senior politicians and judges are stopped from being corrupt, the onetime ‘Athens of West Africa’ will remain stagnated. If there is nothing to gain, the judiciary can be relied on to deliver justice. Right now the professionals in the Sierra Leone judiciary are relying on the cooperation of their cohorts in the executive and legislative arms to hide them. If the search light is turned on the judiciary, it will easily turn a new leaf. The same applies to the police. Consider this statement common to the police: “no one is a saint”; it is just an apologia for their own corruption.

Sierra Leone today is a nation at crossroads, struggling against all forms of vices. The country’s media practitioners had at one time struggled for the political emancipation of the country, at another time, the media unanimously fought for the unity of the nation during her devastating 11-year civil war. But today, that media itself is totally split and majority is busy serving as lapdogs for the government in order to have their own share of the national cake at the expense of the nation’s growth, rather than serving as attacking dogs for the rest of the masses. One of the major issues that should engage the attention of the media today is the anti-corruption war. There is therefore no gain saying the fact that all hands need to be on deck so that the anti-corruption war could be won.


The media profession is expected to be above board so that journalists could confidently champion the anti-corruption campaign.
How much Sierra Leone would succeed in the current battle depends largely on how effective the media is.

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