No shortage of corruption stories this week – from Guatemala’s prosecutor investigating a $7 million corruption scandal at the Public Health Ministry to Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Multimedia filing reports on the abuse of public funds to the arrest of Kenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich over graft in a multi-million-dollar project. Rotich’s arrest marks the first time a sitting Kenyan government minister will be held on corruption charges. Kenyans and the international community are following the news closely as Patrick Gathara asks if the country’s anti-corruption drive is working. Deputy President, William Ruto, admits the government does not know how much it loses to corruption every year. His boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, enamored by the potential of tech solutions, noted the country’s digital strategy has helped stem the free flow of illicit cash as digitization improves transparency and accountability.
Not all decisions are to stem corruption – Brazil’s Supreme Court has halted anti-money laundering investigations concerning the president’s son, leaving the country at odds with the international anti-money laundering regime. Perhaps the likes of Sonia Braga or Jesus Luz could take inspiration from Jennifer Lawrence and talk to risks of political corruption.
China’s leaders have not been immune from accusations of politically motivated use of anti-corruption measures domestically, but the U4 team reflect on the mixed results of efforts to clean up a checkered image abroad with a “belt and road to integrity”. The formation of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) to coordinate international development is a good start, but questions remain over Chinese commitment to counter corruption when dealing with geostrategic interests. Perhaps they might find some inspiration in “Fighting Corruption: What works/What Doesn’t” – the focus of the latest issue from Americas Quarterly.
Lest we forget the real world implications of when things go wrong, the United Nations says that drug trafficking in East and Southeast Asia is growing faster amid flaws in law enforcement, border controls and ineffective anti-corruption initiatives.