We are all aware that an entity operates under the control of managers who are in most cases not the owners of the business. Owners need to ensure that the assets are well managed.
Corrupt mangers intend to bypass all the corporate governance issues, in a weak regulatory environment. Seeking to engage all sectors of society in the fight against corruption, would be prudent for a good government.
This endeavour would be successful if it receives support from the private sector. Reducing the devastating impact of corruption on our people requires the participation of all stakeholders most importantly the Media.
Information is wealth, and info is power. I really believe that communication can help deter and prevent fraud and irregularities by raising awareness and promoting public debate.
Communication policy can therefore, help shape public opinion, and the key to success against corruption is changing public opinion. Therefore, enhancing the flow of information will facilitate the decision makers when making objective decisions.
Information is only good when timely, for sensible decisions.
The media therefore, is a supportive tool to channel info to the appropriate authority in charge of anti-corruption activities. It helps to link the public and the social, economic and political activities. It thus needs to be broad-minded and perform with professional mind.
The media can lead in providing quality information for regulators and other decision makers so as to deal with their own incidences of fraud and corruption when operating under challenging conditions.
If the law governing the media contradicts, and is ambiguous, certainly there will be a gap between those managing the affairs of the entity and the owners, and also other stakeholders; due to the deficiency in the flow of information. The media can not thus perform economically, efficiently, and effectively.
Owners (shareholders, different stakeholders including the government, will always feel happy, thinking that the companies are doing well due to profits being reported. But are those profits real, or are imaginative!
This reminds me the Enron case, where good profits were being reported, and auditors having done their work, then happy to contribute to the Bush elections!
In the end it was found that the company was at its verge of collapse. Only a whistleblower managed to shade the light on the scandal. How I wish our legislative body could think of such a decree to safeguard whistleblowers!
We need quality info to save the public, and the government. Sometimes we hear events as gossips, if analysed professionally, you uncover some fundamental facts. People develop rumours, if there is no clear channel of information.
This is inevitable in any society. People are always eager to know about the six Ws: what, who, why, how, where, and when. To avoid such, you need to come out and through the media inform the public.
In most developing countries today, corruption is widespread and part of everyday life. Society has learned to live with it, even considering it, fanatically, as an integral part of their culture.
Not only are public or official decisions – for instance, the award of government contracts. I believe Rwandans have gradually started to change the culture of bribery. I say gradual, since it can never be a one-off event.
The civil service, far from being a body that exists to implement the rights of citizens is first and foremost perceived as the least risky way of getting rich quickly. All of which helps to make corruption seem normal.
Many politicians owe their careers and status to corruption and few of them, if any, will take a stand against it, either for fear of upsetting their own careers or the political status quo generally.
For instance, this will influence the passing of laws governing the media, thus limit the flow of quality information to stakeholders. Decision makers will not be able to work professionally if the information is not reaching them on a timely basis. The media can thus, link up the concerned parties.
Civil society and the media can help by denouncing corruption and putting pressure on the government. But the real impediments to the fight against corruption are as much the interests of the politico-administrative apparatus as the fatalism and ignorance of the victims, maintained by a culture of fear nurtured by those who benefit from corruption.
But before one can act, it is necessary to be informed. That is why research into the incidence of corruption and its effects is so important. Only on that basis can action by civil society and aid agencies be guided.
Journalists too, require advanced level of professionalism so as to deliver to our expectations. It irritates once one reads a subheading of a story, only to find words but not a story. Ladies and gentlemen, stories need to be writen professionals to attract many readers.