Letter of the Day: Governance and the way forward
The Editor, Sir:
Come tomorrow, the elections will be over. For those of us who take this exercise seriously, this is a time for reflection - asking, 'what now?'. The answer has a lot to do with the issues raised during campaigning.
What emerged was that our greatest challenge is one of governance. Governance, for me, is the process of decision-making and how we deal with the decisions that are made. There can be no doubt that bad governance is the kernel of every evil in every society. It stands to reason, therefore, that any sincere and committed leader should be striving for good governance.
Central to the thinking of any committed leader must be a resolve to be accountable to stakeholders. Any genuine attempt to accomplish this requires that information concerning decisions taken and attempts to implement them is freely available and accessible to all stakeholders.
It is impossible for each of us to be directly involved in decision-making. But if legitimate intermediate institutions with the capacity to participate constructively are encouraged, this could bring a measure of comfort to those who have the welfare of their country at heart.
Good governance demands that every single member of society feels that they have a stake in it, that justice and fair play is assured through the rule of law and an effective, efficient and responsive bureaucracy.
The new government must understand that we do not need it to make us prosperous. But we need it to protect us in making ourselves prosperous. That can start with the prevention of crime and the preservation of contracts. Government must exorcise that culture that requires their members to be the almoners of gifts. This is the tap root of corruption.We must stop trying to use political solutions to solve economic problems.
One hundred days in office should provide enough time for the healing of wounds and for the parties, along with civil society, to meet and forge a broad and long-term perspective on good governance and human development by mediating various interests and opinions to reach a broad consensus on what is in the best interest of the country. There must be a way for us to pay our debts without bastardising the institutions that are critical for our very survival.
The accelerated and sustainable economic growth and development we desperately need cannot be attained without good governance.