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Lessons for EACC from Botswana
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Written by Isaiah Mbiti. October 27 th.
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Lessons for EACC from Botswana
By Mwongela Mbiti
 
Botswana has been Africa’s least corrupt country and holds a very good position internationally.
This is according to the 2014 and 2015 Transparency International’s Global Corruption
Perception Index. This result has been enabled by sound anti-corruption structures and judicial
practices coupled with political will from the executive arm of the government. The Directorate
on Corruption and Economic Crime’s (DCEC) prosecution rate is considered very high by
international standards.
The fight against corruption in Botswana has been institutionalized, with the DCEC providing
strategic initiatives and coordinating the governments departments to create an anticorruption
culture. Whereas Kenya was ranked position 139 out of 167 countries in the 2015
Transparency International Global Perception Index, Botswana was position 28. Botswana was
the best performing African country followed by Rwanda in position 44. So why the disparities
and what lessons can Kenya and the rest of Africa learn from Botswana?
The most conspicuous aspect about the Botswana anti-corruption framework is the approach
taken by DCEC; bottom up approach and corruption prevention as opposed to the top-down
and punitive approach. The bottom up approach entails mass grassroots campaign, public
education, involvement of special interest groups and partnerships with government
departments. It also includes the determination to create an anti-corruption culture through
attitude change from the youth and children.
DCEC has employed numerous anti-corruption initiatives that EACC can learn from;
Reducing public sector corruption risks
DCEC seeks to reduce public sector corruption risks through conducting a corruption risk
assessment. A Corruption Risk Assessment (Corruption Audit) is simply a careful examination of
what, could lead to corruption. It is a tool that is used to detect and assess corruption risk
exposures within functional areas and develop mechanisms to mitigate such risks. DCEC
conducts departmental corruption risk assessment for all government institutions and makes
recommendations on ways and means of preventing corruption and improving service delivery.
Promoting anti-corruption education
The unit conducts massive public education about corruption and solicits public support. The
public has been segmented into three categories and various programmes are designed for
each of these clienteles. Public Education is available on request to give presentations at
government ministries, departments and public forums.
Further, the directorate conducts trainings for government workers through workshops focused
on ministries subject to numerous corruption complaints. Beginning in 2010, in cooperation
with the education ministry, the DCEC integrated corruption issues into school curricula and
offered guidance and counseling. Other school activities included fairs and exhibitions, as well
as competitions in public speaking, writing, and art. The directorate supported teachers and
students in establishing anti-corruption clubs in secondary schools for “peer-to-peer education”
and together with the University of Botswana, the DCEC developed a college-level anticorruption
course.
Similarly, DCEC cultivated a more cooperative media relationship and employed four public
relations officers by 2012. DCEC also maintain a weekly column of corruption prevention tips in
the state newspaper, raising awareness and soliciting tips. DCEC conducts outreach through
various media, especially radio, which was popular among rural villagers and urban commuters
alike.
These and many more anti-corruption strategies have seen Botswana gain admiration all over
the world and become a model in the African continent. EACC must therefore take a holistic
approach to the problem and employ the three-pronged strategy of investigation, prevention
and community education in order to achieve the desired results.
 
By Mwongela Mbiti
An advocate of the High Court of Kenya and
Programme Officer,
Transparency International Kenya
Read 691 times Last modified on Thursday, 27 October 2016 09:01
Published in Corruption

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