The National, Tuesday July 16th, 2013
SO, the government is amending the Constitution again.
Finance Minister James Marape said that all leaders have been consulted and relevant government agencies such as the Justice Department are taking carriage of this policy and legislative proposal.
What about the people?
We are also in dialogue with the nation through the office of the Constitutional Review Commission.
The commission is made up of a few individuals and surely cannot speak for the nation.
This is hijacking Papua New Guinean’s right to choose as we are not being consulted.
I do agree with his view that more work is created when we, as a nation, have a secure political, economical and public service environment.
However, the root causes of our problem remain while we are trying to amend the Constitution.
Why do we still have two laws; one for the people and another one for those in high offices?
Why are we not prosecuting ministers and MPs for abusing or misusing millions of kina that belong to the people?
None of the bills or laws addresses the fountainhead of corruption.
Come on MPs, this is the 21st century and Papua New Guineans are better-informed now.
Clever words will not convince us to board a ship that has a captain and crew who have a history of bumping into icebergs.
It can be argued that democratic institutions are not the source of a clean government and that we need some bolts and nuts to be tightened, but democratic practices contribute strongly to an honest government.
We, as a country, have to accept the fact that all three executive arms of this country are corrupt.
The government may try to change the Constitution, but we also still have an ineffective judiciary.
Our ill-functioning legal system contributes to corruption by making it difficult for the poor to have access to it.
People in the informal sector have no legal rights while those at the top are shielded.
It is common knowledge that the elites can evade tax, bribe officials and not get prosecuted.
The perception is that if they are indicted, they may not be tried and if they are, they will not be convicted.
Even if they are convicted, they will not go to jail.
Corruption is nothing but a reflection of the distribution of power within societies.
The country is where it is because the political system is self-perpetuating and no party is accountable to anyone except a coterie of people who dominate all decision-making.
Unless the political system is held accountable, going after individual cases of corruption will achieve little.
As a reminder to people abusing the word ‘leader’, leadership is an action, not a position. Leaders organise people to achieve a common goal.
Leaders are motivators, negotiators, able to accept blame, can navigate through storms and are great captains of ships.
Koima Siwi Via email