Corruption is a feature of African, social, political and even religious life with disastrous consequences. It not only impedes economy development but also increases poverty by making a few individuals richer and many poorer. So corruption can be defined as making someone morally corrupt or becoming morally corrupt oneself. Forms of corruption
Bribery-This is giving money or favors to someone who is in a position of trust, in order to prevent their judgments or corrupt their conduct. It is intended to make a person act illegally, unjustly or immorally. The responsibility for bribery rests with both the giver and the taker. Extortion- It comes from a word that means “to squeeze” and refers to the act of obtaining something, such as money from an entity through threats, violence or the misuse of authority. Fraud- It includes financial crimes such as forging, cheques and inflating costs. It also occurs when funds are raised for such activities as famine, relief, bursary funds for poor children fees and funds to assist the disabled within the society are not put to the intended use. Nepotism- Occurs when someone appoints relatives and friends to positions of authority or awards them contracts. It often leads to the dominance of one ethnic group over another, which has negative implications for nation building. Corruption also manifests itself in outright theft, match-fixing, examination fraud, kickbacks, illegal awarding of contracts and the like in the political sphere. It manifests itself in vote rigging the purchase and the sale of votes and falsification of election results. TRADITIONAL VIEW ABOUT CORRUPTION
In the traditional African setting, the most African communities had a council of elders who were responsible in overseeing justice to all and they were not devoid of democratic value and practices. It was the role of the supreme jury with power to bring the victim offenders together, who compelled witnesses to testify and accorded the offender punishment accordingly. The emotional gratification for punishment was the same for everyone using violence; a sense of pride and power in dominion over others, including power; the power to inflict pain on them, punish them and give them what they deserve and there was no trial without a judgment. Those who hold public office are supposed to perform their duties without any external inducement. They should not have to be given gifts to persuade them to act. In some parts of the world, officials are even forbidden to accept any gifts. But we find that in most African communities giving gifts to superiors was common. Hence the question, was the giving of gifts in traditional communities equivalent to paying a bribe today? Circumstances in which gifts were traditionally given:-
When approaching the gods.
One had to approach the gods with a gift in hand to appease them for some wrong doing or to thank them for such things as a good harvest, the birth of a child or the coming of the first rains. Such a gift could never have been considered a bribe to induce a god to do something immoral, for the gods could do no wrong. When consulting medicine men and women.
A gift was often necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the medicine prescribed. Given that some of this medicine men and women are prepared to use unorthodox and evil methods, the gift could well constitute a bribe to persuade them to use their powers to drive someone mad, kill someone or make someone fall in love. When consulting diviners and priests.
Diviners and priests were regarded as intermediaries who would carry out the will of the gods. Bribing them to misconstrue what the gods were saying was unthinkable! Any attempt to do so would bring judgment. It is said that when someone did a bribe a priest to help him obtain possession of some land, both the man the priest who took the bribe died in a mysterious fire. When appearing before a chief or king or the...
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