n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - Combating or Condoning Corruption? The two faces of Anti-Corruption Agencies

Volume 3, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


Clearly, corruption has impacted negatively on national development in the many countries of the developing world. Despite growing efforts toward reducing instances of public sector corruption in the late 1990s, "corruption eruption" has continued to remain an endemic feature of many political economies in Africa and beyond. This paper appreciates the necessity and effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACA) and also critically examines allegations of complicity and instrumental use of their strategic positions to pursue political (and other) objectives or to frustrate the eradication of corruption. This study reviews the roles of ACA in combating corruption, assesses the impact of rogue anti-corruption agencies on national anti-corruption projects. The study recognizes the difficulty to subdue motivations for corruption and also notes the high vulnerability of the anti-graft agencies to the overtures of political elites. This is attributable to the patrimonial nature of most political structures in developing countries. However, the paper contends with any attempts to exploit their strategic position and status for personal aggrandizement, which is adjudged more rampant in developing societies. Even in advanced democracies, incidences persist of the agencies acting as cover-ups and conspirators.

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