SURESH RAMPHUL

Good governance is the backbone of a developing country. Some major characteristics of this concept are:

•Integrity;
•Effective handling of public funds;
•Efficiency in dealing with changes;
•Timely actions;
•Accountability;
•A high level of transparency;
•Quick response to satisfy people’s needs;
•Strict adherence to established norms, even under exceptional conditions, when dealing with imports involving billions of rupees;
•Ethical at all moments;
•Regular communication with the public;
•Explain clearly to the public how taxpayers’ money is being spent by the government;
•Leave no space whatsoever for suspicious transactions;
•Checking the credentials of businessmen one is dealing with, especially if it’s about millions or billions of rupees;
•Meritocracy;
•Putting the interest of the country first;
•Keeping away from “roder boute” and other opportunists;
•Taking severe and exemplary actions against corrupt officials;
•Serious wrongdoing by officials and politicians must be duly investigated and prosecuted accordingly;
•Nominating people who are capable of delivering results in key posts;
•Meticulous analysis of the yearly Audit’s Report with a view to avoiding wastage of public funds;
•Keeping the Parliament a respectable place and not making of it a circus;
•Clarifying dark zones in governmental transactions;
•Making sure that a positive image of Mauritius is projected abroad because foreigners distrust countries with a banana republic reputation;
•Avoid politicizing our institutions;
•Stop thinking that the country belongs to the government of the day;
•Stop believing that politicians can do what they want and that the public must accept it sheepishly;
•Fighting the evil of bribery at all levels;
•More transparency in the financing of political parties;
•Discouraging or banning foreign political donations;
•Finding ways to stop the policy of “connections”, that is, those politically well connected always getting what they want;
•Establish codes of conduct for politicians and see to it that they are put into practice;
•Identify the opportunities for corruption and seriously work at minimizing them;
•Reinforce anti-corruption legislation and ensure that that it is properly enforced;
•Talk less, do more;

Our governments have failed on many of the above points. This is the bare truth.
Corruption and other high-profile scandals undermine our progress and project a bad image of the country on the international level.

Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world, according to Transparency International. It’s certainly not by luck that it occupies this position. Some of the factors that explain why it’s the least corrupted are: the society is built on a high level of trust, integrity in politics, a high degree of press freedom, access to information about public expenditure, and high standards of integrity from public officials.

Another country that has shown great determination in battling corruption is New Zealand. It is today positively viewed by the world community.
Why don’t we have the same determination in Mauritius?