African Corruption Essay

This study intends to clearly show the extent to which Africa and Africans have been suffering from the ravages of corruption, fraud, and intentional mismanagement by their governments and their leaders, much to the disappointment and anger of the people.

The impact of corruption on the lives of the people, the businesses, and the economy of any of the nations concerned has been studied by a number of authors, scholars, and worldwide institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, and even donors (highly industrialized nations).

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Although Africa has a large share of the worlds raw material and mineral resources, African nations are by far the least developed and the poorest countries in the world.

Robert Harris, in his book, Political Corruption In and Beyond the Nation State, (1990, p. 29,) introduced three themes. First, political corruption is an illegitimate extension of normal political activity.

In trying to understand the central issue of corruption, one needs to understand the complex and intricate nature of corruption.

If we ask, what is “corruption”? The American Heritage English Language Dictionary (Pickett, 2000) defines corruption as “the art or process of corruption, the state of being corrupt, decay, and rot.”

As indicated above, corruption comes in many forms. In the least developed countries (LDC’s) such as Africa, all types of corruption are prevalent. The following brief case histories of these three companies will present the magnitude of the scandals, corruption, and deceit these companies perpetrated on the unsuspecting public and their business partners.

Other countries of the world have similar problems of corruption, fraud, and mismanagement. From time to time, stories appear about the corruption trial of a government official, a banker, or corporate head in other parts of the world. Doing Business in Africa and Other Non-Industrialized Nations, the basic tenets of the guiding principles are that corruption, dishonesty, and unethical behavior among public officials represent serious threats to the basic principles and values of government, undermining public confidence in democracy and threatening to erode the rule of law.

The aim of these guiding principles is to promote public trust in the integrity of officials within the public sector by preventing, detecting, and prosecuting or sanctioning official corruption and unlawful dishonest or unethical behavior. Monsanto Co.: Settled an SEC complaint in January alleging that the company funneled more than $700,000 in corrupt payments to Indonesian government officials between 1997 and 2002. ExonMobil, Chevron Texaco, Marathon Oil, Devon Energy, and Amerada Hess, as well as several other oil companies: These reportedly are involved in SEC investigations into bribes allegedly paid to government officials in Equatorial Guinea.

Public perception of police corruption stems mainly from instances where the public has come face to face with the vice as they interact with police in their discharge of duty. My personal experience also left me with no doubt that police corruption in South Africa was daunting task for the new democratic government of South Africa. While police brutality in Kenya is much less compared to that of the apartheid South Africa, the police corruption in Kenya is much more widespread and open.

Corruption in the police force takes various forms and in various degrees of sophistication. Corruption in Kenya and more particularly among the police has reached unprecedented levels. Thieves have been set free from police cells because of corruption. The ministry of public works: This is the second most corrupt institution in Kenya. Finding found that this is the Ministry that has the highest rent corruption in Kenya.

A large population of the Kenyan people expressed disgust at the corruption in this ministry. The corruption at the ministry of public works is more sophisticated than meets the eye. It is also in charge of construction of government residential houses and offices. The ministry houses the largest number of government employed Engineers, professionals, and Architects. It is actually a key ministry in any government.

 Millions of shillings are spent in purchasing goods and services for the government. There was no good will from the establishment to deal with cases of corruption. Where genuine outside companies have been awarded contracts, big bribes were paid to the committee before the award. In one case a contractor has given a job to put up some government circles. The author discovered that this was done just to get free money as penalties from the government. The poor jobs that we have seen on our roads are a result of corruption.

This makes the land law in Kenya, one of the most complicated land systems in the world. The Crown Lands Ordinance (Cap. 280) passed in 1915 defined crown land as “All public land including all land occupied by the native tribes of the protectorate and all land reserved for the use of the members of any native tribe.” All the land rights of the natives were ignored. After all and without exception, African customs recognized land rights.

African communities saw land as a gift of God to every individual. That has been the root cause of land problems in this country. Nowhere in Africa is land such expensive commodity as it is in Kenya. A Kenyan who has no land will always work hard to buy himself land. Land and Corruption in Africa

The Ministry of Lands is one of the most corrupt institutions in this country. Land Cartels

Land allocations, is the biggest single activity that goes on at the Lands office, Nairobi. Here, the people of Kenya will spend as much time and spend as much money, to ensure that they have been allocated land. Income tax department: African Revenue Authority is the main government agency for collecting all government revenue.

No government can run on its own without taxes. Money collected from taxes is what the government uses to provide public services like Education, Health, Infrastructure, security and policing, a forestation, public service employment, defence and many others. (Transparency International Report, 2006)

You cannot tax people so highly and yet fail to provide services. Over Kenya Shillings 250 billion taxes, (Transparency International Report, 2006), are collected annually by the Kenya Revenue Authority. The African revenue authority has some of the best professionals in the public service. Corruption at the African Revenue Authority is a matter of great concern. There is corruption in the organization both corporate and individual taxpayers. With the present economic situation most business people are stressed out and depressed.

Research revealed that there is massive corruption in the import and export sector. Tax evasion is very high in this sector and the government loses millions of shillings through fraud and tax evasion. It was found that tax officers collude with importers and exporters to avoid tax and deny the government the badly needed revenue.

This area has provided a good breeding ground for corruption in the income tax department. Officers in the Revenue Authority come across these businesses every day. The government is losing a lot of revenue by leaving these sectors out.

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