Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, September 28th, 2020

No Effective Mechanism for Combating Corruption

The Transparency International’s report on the Corruption Perceptions Index in 2019 shows that Afghanistan still ranks as the world’s most corrupt countries. Corruption is a widespread and chronic problem within the government’s machinery since officials and government staff are largely involved in taking bribe.
Whatever the reason is behind the administrative corruption, a large number of government staff appear to be involved in it. To one’s unmitigated chagrin, judicial organs and law-enforcers such as police officers are engaged in taking bribe.
The horrible consequences of the administrative corruption is easily noticeable across the country. That is, corruption is conducive to law-breaking, insecurity, and increasing crime rate. A number of individuals commit crime with impunity as a result of corruption. For instance, top officials are involved in larger illegal practices such as land grabbing and illegal mining for natural resources.
The involvement of top officials in illegal activities and corruption make the national headline frequently. According to general beliefs, a number of individuals, who hold high positions, try to exploit their positions and make illegal money as much as possible.
If you want to know about corruption within the government apparatus, simply visit a government department. For example, if one visits Afghanistan’s Central Civil Registration Authority (ACCRA), corruption will be easily noticeable. Sometimes, an official signature will take three days. Almost all visitors, have their complaints about the staff working in the ACCRA. They are highly irresponsible, disrespectful, and slow workers. After all, a number of people in the surrounding area of the ACCRA department are hunting for those who are exhausted by ACCRA staff and seek to have their tasks done by money. Those middlemen are believed to have links with officials and get the public works done for money. Hence, corruption is epidemic. This is only a single example that I have witnessed. If law-enforcers and government members are involved in corruption, who will combat it?
Take, presidential election, for example. Who are involved in rigging and corruption, officials or ordinary citizens? Top officials resort to rigging so as to turn the result for their interests. One’s disappointment will be compounded if members of Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaint Commission are involved in corruption.
With this in mind, each government official who seeks to combat corruption, should start with himself/herself. Will they?
It is really painful to see that many who enjoy a luxury life and possess much wealth and properties are involved in corruption and illegal activities. Their eyes are greedier than their stomachs, according to an Afghan proverb. As a result, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer on day-to-day basis.
As a result of prevalent corruption, the European Union has warned to stop donations to Afghanistan if Ghani administration was not serious in combating corruption. The EU representative tweeted that Afghanistan was not doing enough in counter-corruption as the country was listed as the most corrupt states.
Afghanistan was ranked as the most corrupt country in economic affairs in the Transparency International’s fresh report released on January 23, according to a report released by IRNA.
Afghans are highly frustrated from the corruption, which has increased the trust deficit between state and nation. Nepotism and taking bribe are prevalent almost in every government department. Although Afghanistan has been ranked among world’s most corrupt countries for many consecutive years, sometimes with very few differences, the government has not come up with an effective mechanism to combat it. For instance, strongmen and influential individuals and officials are still viewed above all.
It should be noted that the corruption has seriously tarnished Afghanistan’s reputation at international level and will cause foreign nations to stop their financial support to the country. Indeed, despite the fact that billions of dollars have been poured in, the country is still wrestling with all kinds of challenges, including infrastructural shortages, poverty, unemployment, electricity, to name but a few. It is surprising to see that those financial supports within past years could not solve at least one of the country’s problems. What will be the cause?
It is clear, a number of officials are running business outside the country and enjoying luxury houses in Dubai and elsewhere. Hence, only individuals got rich and richer as a result of the foreign financial support. So, why should they still support the country financially despite all the ongoing corruption?
Afghans are highly disappointed with the government, which has turned its back on the issue. Officials are simply involved in political competitions and hurling rhetoric against one another.
The government has to focus on combating corruption and design an effective mechanism to eradicate this problem so as to gain national trust and international supports.