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“Exposing the deceit of corruption”
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“Exposing the deceit of corruption”

Collins KimaroCorruption is a worldwide problem that cripples economies, writes Collins Kimaro, 19, a Correspondent from Tanzania. But he argues the solution starts with individual decision and action.

Dear Corruption, 

I write to you today not to condemn you like many have done before me, but to expose your simplest yet most destructive trait. 

Many have tried to estimate your total cost, with a recent study valuing you at US $1 trillion per year. This of course is a substantial underestimation as it only includes the suspected bribery transactions. It leaves out your other resilient means of operation such as embezzlement of public funds or thieving of public assets. With Transparency International estimating that Suharto alone embezzled up to US$35 billion or Abacha US$5 billion, your true value could be even treble the aforementioned. 

You have managed to not only ruin the world by misappropriating monetary funds but also have drained intellect when dealing with you. 

You convince the masses that you are a third-world problem, particularly attaching yourself to African governments, when in reality you are a parasite that thrives on the global stage. You are an economic problem that has both a demand and a supply side. Many only think of your demand side; the crooked politician or corrupt police officer. One forgets however that this demand must be met by supply; a supply that often comes from the more subtle Western world. 

The OECD estimates that multi-national corporations annually spend $80billion on bribes while the World Bank concludes that money laundered by western financial firms totals $1 trillion annually. With Germany’s Siemens’ 1.7billion bribe bill, France’s Cahuzac’s fraud scandal or the 40 UK firms blacklisted by the World Bank Sanctions Committee, you are clearly a global threat. 

Your deceit does not end there. Not only may society’s opinion of you be skewed along geographical lines but also of in terms of who is responsible. Many are quick to blame the highest officials and forgot that often in fact corruption starts at home. A recent survey encompassing 114,000 people across 107 countries found that more than one in four people had paid a bribe in the past. From those consumers who engage in electricity theft in India to the underage drivers who pay the traffic police; in many instances corruption begins with the ordinary individual. It is this simple truth that we chose to ignore that guarantees your success. 

If one wanted to have a steady six-floor building would they not ensure that they lay a strong foundation first, or simply direct their efforts to a well-built fifth floor? Similarly until the ordinary citizen stands firm against you in their personal, daily lives you will not be defeated. For an honest parent would lead an ethical family. Ethical families would demand principled councils. Principled councils would necessitate an honourable government. And an honourable government would see your extinction. 

Yours faithfully, 

Justice. 

photo credit: futureatlas.com via photopin cc

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About me: We live in a time when the world’s workings are being re-written and unbound possibilities opening up. My ambitions align with this and I aspire to join the field of International Development and help fuel African’s impending rise. I enjoy exploring new cultures, current affairs and the beautiful art that is spoken word. 

Apart from being an Economics student at the University of Warwick I am excited to be part of AIESEC Warwick and Treasurer for Warwick World Food Programme.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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