Shouting alone would not do Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
April 9, 2002

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CHARGES of corruption continue to be levelled against officials by ordinary people, political parties and members of civil society.

Many of course are baseless and are propelled by mischief and ill intentions.

But some allegations seem to have merit and warrant determined action to bring the culprits to justice.

Officials sometimes say bring the evidence, which is essential in unearthing corrupt acts to and institute charges against the culprits.

But in many instances this is easier said than done.

In these times when corruption is organised and executed in a scientific and methodical manner, those who may have the evidence may be fearful of their lives or those who are close to them; they may also fear victimisation or other forms of reprisals.

And the ease with which criminals dispose of `unwanted elements' makes it doubly dangerous to get involved in exposing the callous acts of corruption.

While it is essential to investigate and unearth corruption and punish those guilty, it is equally important to minimise or remove the avenues for corruption and implement systems that are almost `corrupt proof'.

There will be never any system that will be 100 per cent foolproof because of the nature of man; but systems can be devised to make it extremely difficult for the `tempted minds' to succeed.

There are too many situations and systems that form the breeding ground for corruption and these are often untouched.

For example, in both the private and public sectors there exists too much `red tapes' in transacting simple, but important and essential business.

This creates procrastination and severe bottlenecks and fertile soil for rampant and ruthless corruption, because persons who have money and are in a hurry, or simply do not have the time to spare, will offer bribes and the floodgates would be open.

The consequence of this is that an elite becomes rich through ruthlessness and the poor working class that cannot afford the bribes languishes in agony.

Poverty is another significant breeding ground for corruption.

One reason why drug barons are successfully plying their `trade' is because they have become `heroes' among sections of impoverished people, doling out millions of dollars.

Rampant black-marketeering of essential foodstuff, which years ago was caused by acute shortages, became history when adequate amounts of the items began to be imported again.

Those who are genuinely interested in fighting corruption should not only shout it, but should analyse, identify and expose the weaknesses and loopholes and very importantly offer realistic and appropriate solutions to rectify the affected systems.

The struggle against corruption is essential to the future well being of society.

If it is not tackled it will lead to further undermining of the moral and material fabric of our very existence.