Political instabilty breeds corruption: Kenyan legislator

KENYAN opposition legislator, Otiende Amollo yesterday said political hostility provided fertile ground for corruption, adding that the East African country’s government of national unity failed to curb the vice.

by TAFADZWA MUTACHA

Addressing a Legal Resources Foundation-organised human rights conference in Harare, Amollo said corruption tends to thrive in highly-polarised countries, adding there was need for all political parties in Zimbabwe to unite in fighting corruption.

“In polarised societies there are always two antagonising sides. Whenever the antagonising is at its highest, corruption seems to thrive better. Whenever there is a reduction in political hostility there is reduction in corruption,” he said.

“If various political antagonists can unite against the fight of corruption without weaponising it as a political tool then the fight against corruption will go very far.”

He said the alleged electoral malpractices and election manipulation that took place in Zimbabwe on July 30, was contributing to high levels of corruption. The Kenyan legislator said anti-corruption bodies and commissions mandated to fight the cancerous disease were failing to realise success in fighting corruption.

“The more you observe human rights and the rule of law, the more you are likely to eradicate instances of corruption, hence the two are directly linked,” he said .

“We need to create an atmosphere to fight corruption and not just focus on legislation. The entities that are created to fight corruption should be true to their mandate and avoid overprotectionism.”

Amollo who is chairperson of the office of the Ombudsman in Kenya said Africa has become good for setting up anti-corruption units with nothing to show for it. He said legislation on its own means nothing unless there was real commitment to fight the scourge.