MPs need to lead fight against graft

Southern Africa Development Community-Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) Secretary General Dr Kasuka Mutukwa said on Tuesday that members of parliament (MPs) in the region were important in the fight against corruption because they are the lawmakers.

“It’s about time that Parliaments in our region and worldwide raised their profiles and oversight against corruption’It is the parliament that should pass relevant legislation and see to it that anti-corruption institutions function to eradicate corruption. Parliament is there among the central institutions for combating corruption because it is the highest law-making institution in the land,” said Mutukwa at a three-day regional Parliamentary Conference on Corruption in Windhoek.

He said corruption which ranges from petty to grand should be fought by MPs regardless of their political party affiliations.

Mutukwa also cautioned MPs against taking part in corrupt activities and urged them to be transparent in their dealing and be able to account for their wealth.

“MPs must themselves be clean; a corrupt MP can’t fight corruption. There must be penalties for MPs as well for corruption,” said Mutukwa.

Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab said corruption is destructive and poses serious development and security challenges.

“Corruption is pernicious and it poses serious developmental and security challenges. It undermines accountable government, economic development, family value, stability and consolidation of democracy and service delivery,” said Gurirab.

He said in the economic sphere, especially in the private sector corruption maximises the cost of business by means of bribes.

Like Mutukwa, he also highlighted the fact that corruption undermines the rule of law, good governance and responsible leadership.

Gurirab said in a corrupt regime public confidence in its leadership including MPs is eroded.

“We shouldn’t seek to gain financial or other benefits for ourselves, family or friends.

“We must be objective in the way we execute our responsibility and make decisions and choices on merit in the best interest of the people.

“We must lead by example and we must subject ourselves to public scrutiny and adhere to disclosure as required by law,” said Gurirab.

December 2006
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