Davos-Klosters — The President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, has attributed Botswana's good and consistent performance in the fight against corruption to its strong institutions.
President Masisi said this during a press conference on corruption and democracy at the just ended 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland on Thursday where key findings from Transparency International (TI) report were put under a microscope.
The report on perceived levels of corruption within the public sector of different countries ranked Botswana among the least corruption nations. Botswana was positioned as number two after Seychelles in sub-Saharan Africa and 34th globally.
President Masisi remarks followed commendations by TI chairperson and fellow panelist at the press conference, Ms Delia Ferreira-Rubio who said Botswana's consistent efforts to burst graft should be applauded.
President Masisi also stated that virtues such as transparency and accountability were amongst key catalysts at any given democratic setting required to hold to account those who hold public office.
He said Botswana had in the past passed laws that plugged holes to corruption and they were reviewed to close any existing gap.
"We have for instance recently passed a law which requires all political leaders, all public servants and those in the judiciary to declare their assets and liabilities and many such important pieces of legislation to tighten the loose ends," he said.
That being the case, President Masisi expressed dissatisfaction that efforts by countries such as Botswana to fight corruption might bear little fruit if organisations such as TI did not tackle developing trends of corruption where people from well-to-do economies that were not perceived as corrupt, acted in cohorts with those from third world countries to commit corruption.
He said anti-corruption was part of the solution to realise Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adding that 'you cannot realise SDGs, however developed you are, when corruption continues to persist at the level it does.'
President Masisi also posited that Botswana and TI were, although at an initial stage, considering joining efforts to host a Pan-African conference on corruption in Botswana.
Mr Matthew Galizia, whose Maltese journalist mother was allegedly murdered for reporting on corruption on people in high echelons of power, underscored the need for reforms in countries with rife incidents of graft
"There is need to punish corrupt people and this can be achieved through collaborations to fight in particular multi-national and organised corruption together," he said.
For her part, Ms Ferreira-Rubio called on the business sector and civil society to jump into the band wagon and defeat corruption.
She said also her organisation worked with governments to seek various solutions to fish-out corrupt tendencies.
"Transparency International has created lots of tools to tackle the problem in various countries to fight corruption," Ms Ferreira-Rubio said
Source : BOPA