Sunday, September 20, 2020

UB’s Democracy Research project produces 4th publication

The German-based internationally influential NGO that addresses corruption, Transparency International (TI), defines corruption as, “the misuse of entrusted power for private gain.” Also known for its annual Corruption Perception Index, TI rated in its 2008 survey, Botswana as 36th out of 180 countries for its level of corruption.

In a new book published by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Botswana office, Transparency, Accountability and Corruption in Botswana, edited by Zibani Maundeni, TI examines the independent structures that address corruption, such as, the Independent Electoral Commission, the Ombudsman, the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime as well as the transparency, accountability of the private sector, civil society, and the media; and making recommendations on how they may be improved.

The book was a joint effort of Transparency International Botswana and Transparency international Zimbabwe who invited the Democracy Research Project at the University of Botswana to do studies for it.

The book that was launched on Thursday by former president Festus Mogae covers the period in which Mogae was president. Zibani Maundeni, who credited the former president with being accessible during his tenure, said the book is written by political scientists analysing what they have witnessed and that Mogae should write a book that would give insight to governance that political scientist may not have been allowed access to.

On his part, Mogae, who is a member of the advisory council of Transparency International, congratulated the Democracy Research Project at the University of Botswana for its fourth publication, which he hopes will engender a culture of reading and inspire constructive debate among Batswana.

He said people run governance structures, which may cause divergences from the letter of law; he valued the book for its evaluation of these mechanics, policies and institutions of fighting corruption.

Dr Patrick Molotsi, giving criticism of Transparency, Accountability and Corruption in Botswana at the launch said, the book is cast in a regional framework, looking at report by TI offices across the southern African region.

The book looks at the weakness of a one party parliament; he said it also states that parliamentary organisations such as the Ombudsman are weak.┬á “The book does interview critical players for verification,” he said, though it relied heavily on media coverage, the accuracy of which he is critical of.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.