Message from Transparency Initiative Seychelles to commemorate Anti-Corruption Day ‒ December 9 | 09 December 2020
‘Truth, Trust and Transparency’
“These three ‘T’s combined, formed the theme of this year’s International Anti-Corruption conference, held last week. Truth, trust and transparency are three elements which co-exist. Without one, the other(s) cannot be achieved nor maintained. It is not surprising that such a theme would be chosen in a year like 2020 – the year where the shortcomings of our systems, our institutions and our leaders have been exposed to the masses.
“Today, December 9, is the annual commemoration of Anti-Corruption Day.
“Corruption. Whether the word is pronounced, read or heard, it leaves an awkward feeling to whichever one of our senses absorbs it. It is a shameful and distasteful word. The practice of corruption harms every single one of us. However, this ‘harm’ is not equally distributed. Globally, we know corruption disproportionately affects women, the poor, the marginalised and the disenfranchised. We now know a little bit better about gendered forms of corruption which for decades have crept into the overlooked and under-served communities, from LGBTQIA+ communities to ethnic minorities.
“In Seychelles, corruption has left thousands of Seychellois ‘behind’. Where is ‘behind’? The names on the list for land, the tired mother at the bus stop, the child growing up on his own because of a family broken by addiction, the sports enthusiast who endures delapidating sports facilities, the ambitious youth whose family is not connected to, or has the resources to get the attention of someone with power to listen to his idea.
“Corruption has also left us with a sense of indifference to each other. How else can we explain the relentless pursuit to acquire wealth through the drug trade, knowing that it tears lives apart, destroys them and also often, puts an end to them? Seychelles is too small for any of us not to know the impact our actions and choices have on others. We see it, we see them, on all four corners of our main islands.
“But, there is good news.
“Transparency Initiative Seychelles has spent much of the past couple of years developing ideas and material to engage every Seychellois in the pursuit of a non-corrupt country – or as we have called it, ‘Forward with Integrity’. Integrity leaves little room for corrupt practices to be cultivated or tolerated. Instilling and re-enforcing integrity in our people is a key tool in keeping corruption at bay in our country.
“Our shortcomings have not been the only factors which have been highlighted in this pandemic year. We have also witnessed human resilience, compassion and selflessness – enough to realise that we actually, collectively, have the heart it takes to right all our wrongs.
“Truth, trust and transparency.
“These are non-negotiable terms in the contract the people of Seychelles should have with its leadership. By upholding them, we are ultimately saying no to unfair privileges bestowed on a selected few, no to overlooking violations of rules committed by some. Instead, we are shifting the conversation to justice.
“Now, more than ever we need bold and assertive NGOs, media houses who relentlessly search for the truth, leaders who ensure that the beneficiaries of their decisions are the people they serve and a nation who believes it deserves better.
“As we join the international community in embracing the dream of an anti-corrupt world, we once again commit to the people of Seychelles, our commitment in advocating for a corrupt-free Seychelles.”