Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Every little thing adds up to bigger corruption

Most of us are corrupt even if we don’t realize it.

It is very common for people to try and help their loved ones get a job.  It seems to be a small thing. But where do we draw the line between that and nepotism? Many people might never get the chance for a position they try for because an employee’s sister, brother or friend will get it without going through the proper selection process.

Now when people do this they don’t necessarily think it’s wrong, they’re just trying to help who they know. I’m sure many of us tried to get somebody a job by saying “please so and so is my friend they will be good at the job or they are a fast learner.” When this happens, however, the person who is probably perfect for the position will end up not getting it.

We live in a country where people with high educational qualifications have spent three or four years just trying to become gainfully employed. When a job is so hard to get; people try to get it through people they know because they don’t have a choice. This kind of corruption is not just a developing nation’s problem, it is everywhere in the world.

Bribes are another all too common part of our lives. We have all been in a situation where we needed to get something done fast so we try to get what we want through greasing someone’s palm.  A bribe doesn’t have to be expensive it can be 10 birr to get into a club or 50 birr to get out of a traffic fine. It seems harmless; 50 birr to make your problem go away doesn’t seem so bad, does it?

Bribes get you what you want easily and you can become addicted to it. When you bribe your integrity, virtue and morals are impaired.  Again this kind of corruption is everywhere in the world.

Developing countries are the major victims of corruption. This is directly attributed to lack of transparency and accountability in the system. In my opinion apart from the defect in the system, integrity and moral standards of government officials, leaders in private companies and international organizations are another important factor that affects the rate and prevalence of corruption.

Unfortunately, most of the corruption occurs in countries whose populations are least equipped to deal with the consequencesthe world’s most deprived nations. In Cambodia, where two-thirds of the population earns less than two dollars a month and one-third earns less than one dollar, a “substantial portion” of 600 million dollars in donor aid each year is lost to unofficial fees, an informal system of patronage, and illicit ‘facilitation’ payments by businesses and individuals.

The Ethiopian Federal Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission was established in May 2001. Since then there have been a lot efforts to put in place transparent systems and reduce bureaucracy.

Nobody can deny that there has been a lot of improvement in terms of transparency in our country. Also bribing somebody to get something done fast isn’t that necessary anymore. Service seems to be better in governmental institutions. What you used to do in two days now you are able to do in half an hour. But a lot remains to be done; from corrupt traffic police officers on the streets to shady multi million public bids.

Corruption is not just a high official trying to get millions, that is what we think when we hear the term corruption, but we need to realize it is also the little things.

We think of it on a higher level because the money involved increases and the people involved are usually in higher positions. We have heard many times, that a high official was accused of embezzlement for millions of birr but just because the amount of money in question is small it doesn’t mean it’s not corruption.

In the end it falls on not just the high official sitting in some government office but instead Unfortunately, most of the corruption occurs in countries whose populations are least equipped to deal with the consequences–the world’s most deprived nations the responsibility to end it falls on me and everybody else. It is about personal integrity and not departing from what is pure, simple and correct. That shouldn’t be hard to do.