Transparency International (TI) released its latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) on the 23rd January 2020. These latest rankings show stagnation in a lot of countries more particularly in the Sub Saharan Region where Botswana is resident. Of all the African countries reviewed, Botswana comes second after Seychelles (score 66) with a score of 61 out of 100. Botswana has been rated at this score for the past three years.
Overall analysis of the Ratings shows that most countries in the Sub Sahara region have relaxed in their efforts to fight corruption. Therefore this is an opportunity for the country to improve its ratings. The DCEC as the country’s lead anti-corruption agency will be reviewing its strategy this year in order to come up with a new anti-corruption course and initiatives which can take the country forward. Furthermore, there are plans in place to engage all relevant stakeholders through forums such as symposiums in order to cajole the citizenry to strengthen partnerships with the DCEC in the fight against corruption. One other critical strategy that could aid the anti-corruption drive is formation of strategic partnerships. In November 2019 the DCEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in order to fast track and give priority, where possible, to corruption cases. This MOU also emphasizes on due diligence by both agencies when tackling matters pertaining to corruption. It is also worth noting that in December 2019, the DCEC signed an MOU with Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission in order to maximize bilateral relations and assistance in dealing with matters of corruption. This MOU will assist in addressing delays that are encountered in investigating corruption more especially in matters that straddle our borders.
Further interrogation of the Transparency International findings reveal that Botswana has not lost the plot in the fight against corruption but rather there are other countries that are emerging like the Seychelles. This means we now have to introduce some initiatives that will take the fight against corruption to a higher level, that is; we have to do more than what we are currently doing in order to improve. Recently the DCEC has been inundated with investigation of high profile cases and some are even before the Courts of Law. These matters were brought to the attention of the DCEC by whistle blowers hence we anticipate such unraveling of corruption to paint a positive picture on the anticorruption drive thereby improving the rating. Some of the indicators of low levels of corruption will be enactment of certain legislations which enhance democracy and good governance, the DCEC continues to advice on the need for such legislations.
A few years ago we saw the Whistle Blowing legislation being passed. Recently the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law was passed. It is our hope therefore that such undertakings will aid in repositioning Botswana to the pedestal position on the CPI. We are content with the findings as the DCEC for the mere fact that we did not regress but we wish to improve instead of staying in one position. One very necessary initiative will be implementation of a national anti-corruption strategy which will act as a blueprint or manual that addresses all sectors on how to fight corruption. The strategy is still being developed and will be unveiled in due course.
It is also worth noting that the posture of the current leadership towards fighting corruption is reassuring as shown by His Excellency the President’s persistent demonstration of disdain for corruption. Such an enabling atmosphere will, no doubt, catalyze anti-corruption efforts that are in place and hatch new ones which will ultimately leverage in establishing Botswana as one of the least corruption countries in the world.