SADC anti-corruption bosses see graft as danger to regional security

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Ongoing corruption, in the form of what the Southern African Development Community (SADC) calls “graft” known as State Capture in South Africa, does have an influence on peace and security in the region.

This view was offered to late November’s meeting of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs in Namibia by acting director Kealeboga Moruti. She said the “nexus” between corruption and regional stability cannot be overlooked.

According to her corruption has the potential to undermine peace and stability in SADC member countries and exacerbate inequalities as it leads to unequal distribution of wealth. This impacts on capacity to deliver socio-economic development equitably to secure a better life for all citizens.

She noted progress is being made at regional level to strengthen c-operation and capacity to address corruption in the framework of the Strategic Anti-Corruption Action Plan for 2018-2022, soon to be succeeded by the 2023-2027 plan. There is also work at member state level and the annual SADC anti-corruption sub-committee meetings provided a platform for tracking progress in regional efforts and consolidation of the SADC regional agenda.

Fighting corruption requires co-operation between member states and strengthening co-operation and coordination of efforts between various partners. The SADC Secretariat is engaged with UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) developing a new co-operation framework for when the joint regional programme ends next year. The Secretariat is also engaging with the African Union advisory board on anti-corruption and other key partners.

Dr Paulus Noah, SADC anti-corruption sub-committee chair, said all heads of anti-corruption agencies have been waiting for operationalisation of the Committee since the entry into force of the SADC protocol against corruption in 2005.

The objective of the meeting was to discuss emerging trends in corruption and strengthening co-operation against the scourge and strengthen implementation of the SADC Strategic Anti-Corruption Action Plan (2023-2027). It was attended by heads of anti-corruption agencies or their representatives from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.