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Pervasive southern African corruption scrutinised by SADC committee

Pervasive southern African corruption scrutinised by SADC committee

By Adolf Kaure.

The Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Anti-Corruption Committee, Thom Shamakamba said that corruption undermines good governance and the principles of accountability and transparency, when he spoke at the opening of the SADC Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) workshop.

The SADC anti-corruption agents is meeting in Swakopmund the week from Wednesday to Friday 13 October with the purpose to stregthen efforts to implement the SADC Strategic Anti-Corruption Acion Plan (2023 to 2027) and enhance coordination between the SADC Secretariat and member states through the anti-corruption agencies.

According to Shamakamba, corruption remains a major challenge in the region and needs to be addressed.

“Corruption continues to be a hindrance to economic and human development as it undermines democracy, rule of law, public trust in state institutions and investor confidence in our countries,” he said.

Zambia’s Shamakamba ceremoniously took over the duties as Chairperson of the SADC Anti-Corruption Committee from outgoing Chairperson Paulus Noa of Namibia.

The Chairperson also said that there is a need for collaboration in tackling corruption because of its enabling effect on other crimes.

“It has become even more imperative now than it ever has been mainly because of its enabling effect on a range of other crimes that exact a huge cost on our countries such as money laundering and illicit financial flows.”

“Our governments fully recognise the adverse effects of corruption and have committed to pursue reforms to improve and strengthen governance, improve service delivery and accelerate economic growth,” said Shamakamba.

SADC’s Director for the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Professor Kula Theletsane echoed Shamakamba’s sentiments, saying that fighting corruption as an enabler of transnational organized crimes requires strong domestic, regional and continental cooperation.

“The necessary frameworks to facilitate cooperation between the member states exist in the Protocol against Corruption, the SADC Protocol on Mutual Legal Assistance, and The SADC Integrated Strategy to combat transnational organized crime.”

“At the regional level, there is also a need to strengthen cooperation and coordination of efforts between various partners.

The Protocol against Corruption was adopted in 2001 and came into force in 2005. Currently, 15 of the SADC member states have ratified this Protocol.

The establishment of the SADC Anti-Corruption Committee in 2015 and the subsequent development and adoption of the Strategic Anti-Corruption Action Plan have given further impetus to the implementation of the Protocol, specifically efforts to strengthen cooperation among member states in addressing corruption.

The heads of the SADC Anti-Corruption Agencies came together in Swakopmund to strategise on the ever-present bane of corruption. (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)

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