Lord, Does The Anti-Corruption Watch-dog Has Teeth To Bite? (Pt-1)
You know just the other day, I was sitting in a gathering and we were kind of like discussing this much trumpeted declared war against broad day theft in our village and it was revealing.
Come to think of it, it has been 8 unbroken years since the declaration of this war and there has not been one conviction where that person has been made to restitute stolen money from the village coffers.
And you know Father, our big people will want us to believe that our legal process has been one of the contributing factors that has continued to let our village bleed in defeat against this menace.
But to tell you the truth, from that gathering and from what I heard some of which were for the first time, I came to the conclusion that this fight is going nowhere.
What do you mean the fight is going nowhere, my son?
Father, unless our big people all of them stop playing "poli-tricks" there is no way that this fight is going to achieve anything not even long after the Old Lady shall have left with some of the chiefs at the Traditional Council who just don't want to hear the phrase "war against corruption."
And Father, if you may, I will give you series of reasons why this 8-year old war is not going anywhere and is likely to achieve nothing but empty noise and big impressions.
Let start with the establishment of the anti-corruption watch-dog, a body purportedly comprising of men and women in our village who suppose to ensure that those thieves in our village are brought to book are themselves powerless. And they were made powerless even before they were established and given such task to perform.
How were they made powerless my son?
Father, for instance the power to prosecute individuals linked to theft in our village has been in the hands of a member of the Old Lady's Kitchen cabinet. And don't ask me why because 90% of that Palaver hut budget, I am told is for prosecution.
Which one you call the Palaver Hut my son?
That place where the village lawyer is. The same people who are responsible for the blue uniform people and the people who can keep the bad, bad people behind bars.
Now, remember what I told you earlier that the person heading this place is a member of the Old Lady's kitchen cabinet?
Ok, so you see, when they were forming this anti-corruption watch-dog to command the fight against corruption, the watch-dog wanted the power to be able to prosecute its own suspects but the people said no, that other power we can't give it to you. This was simply because giving the watch-dog that power would have meant reducing their share of the National Cake which is 90% prosecution based.
So, you see Father, right there the first compromise was made to remove one of the most dangerous tooth of the anti-corruption watch-dog-that power of an Independent Prosecutor.
As a form of further precaution, to protect friends and associates within the Old Lady's kitchen and other areas with vested interest, it was concluded that when the anti-corruption watch-dog completes its investigation, it should then give it to this member of the Old Lady's kitchen cabinet to decide whether the village should take the people to the House of Elders to be prosecuted or not.
That was being brilliant my son.
Yes, Father, that is a kind of farsightedness, for feature protection. You see, the one who heads that Palaver Hut is a member of the Old Lady's kitchen cabinet. The people who are members of the anti-corruption watch-dog are not-meaning the one who heads that Palaver Hut is a good friend to the rest of the Old Lady's kitchen cabinet members.
Now, it is possible that because of the relationship among them (kitchen cabinet members), any recommendation for prosecution by the watch-dog to that Palaver Hut will be treated with all forms of delays. As a result, you only hear news of theft in the village but no prosecution accept for those small boys and girls that are not part of the Old Lady's kitchen cabinet. And those who are part whenever the picture is cleared, that person resign under some unexplained circumstances that will leave them untouched, like that man who was the first big man during the Old Lady's first term at that Place responsible for the Zoes and chiefs.
But you see if there were an independent prosecutor and if the watch-dog had control over its own budget, even some chiefs would have been brought to book.
Coming up in Pt-2: The assets declaration is there an exit evaluation, how about illicit acquisition of wealth-though not connected with the collection of revenue but using one's position to get wealth, like those in the security sector, border guys who would play a blind eye to a drug deal for a cut.