The Barrow Government must not just fight corruption, it must be seen to be fighting corruption. It is in the “seeing” and “doing” that public confidence is assured and men and women who don’t have any price would be “courageous” enough to stick out their honour to speak out too.
Every accusation of corruption, big or small, should be investigated. And corruption is not only bribery. It is the abuse of one’s office, misuse of public propety, nepotism, cronyism, patronage, clientelism, name dropping, failure to follow due process, etc.
Accountability and transparency must be at the heart of our efforts to fight corruption in The Gambia. These two pillars of good governance are as good as dead when allegations of corruption in high places are pooh poohed or explained away as insignificant or the accuser unilaterally punished. If the rule of law and formal rules are not rigorously followed or applied in a discriminatory manner, people will not only lack confidence in the law but the law itself will be a scarecrow that birds of prey will make their perch.
“Be the change you want to see in this world”, Gandhi admonished all of us. So true. People don’t buy into the message first; they buy into the messenger first and then the message. Credibility, congruence, character, consistency and integrity are what people look for. When the messenger lack these qualities, none buys in his or her message no matter how true. Remember the story of the shepherd and the wolves.
Investigate allegations of corruption wherever they are alleged. There is no smoke without fire.