Yesterday a friend asked whether the money and items given by Anas’ agents to the GFA officials, referees, etc in ‘the video’ could be interpreted as bribes? This friend wondered how money given as ‘t&t’, bag(s) of rice, goat, etc given as Christmas gifts could be called bribes…
How do we even define corruption (and bribery)?
I like Transparency International’s view of corruption: “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”
– ‘Entrusted power’, as opposed to “public office,” underscores the fact that corruption is not restricted to holders of public office or to the public sector. The concept of “trust” also highlights the fact that corruption involves a breach of fiduciary obligation.
– ‘Abuse’ connotes conduct that is wrongful or improper; a deviation from the expected or required standard. Abuse also goes beyond conduct that is unlawful or illegal. Thus, corruption is not restricted to criminal acts or acts in violation of law.
– ‘Private gain’ extends beyond direct personal or pecuniary gain and includes acts that are designed to benefit third parties, including one’s family or associates. Thus, an act is no less corrupt merely because the corrupt actor engages in the act for the benefit or on behalf of, or donates the proceeds to, others.
The questions we ought to ask in this matter are these:
1. Would the GFA officials, referees, etc in the Anas video have been given the so called ‘t&t’, bag(s) of rice and oil, goat, etc had they not been in positions of trust and influence?
2. For what purpose(s) were the said items given to them? To influence their decisions now or at a later date? And does it matter the manner in which they were presented?
3. Were the items for the private gain of the individuals in question? Were the individuals abusing their positions of trust when they took the items?
I suppose in there, somewhere, lay answers.
Credit: Discussion paper on fighting corruption in Ghana by Star Ghana