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About Us

Why are we doing this?

The idea of a MSWG on Combatting Corruption in Africa, comes at a time when the continent is still haemorrhaging over 50 billion dollars to rampant graft, which has detrimental impact on the development of the African continent.  Despite the plethora of efforts deployed to combat corruption, it remains an endemic problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. Anti-corruption polices that have been pronounced upon have not been operationalized.  Laws that have been enacted to promote transparency and public accountability have been flouted. Fundamental regulations and cardinal principles that serve as triggers to unlocking the barriers to exposing corruption, such as: access to information; whistle blower protection; and asset declaration have still not found their way into the statue books of many AU member states.  Corruption in the East African Community, which is struggling to adopt a regional Protocol on Combatting Corruption, has high degree of theft in public sector. High-profile corruption cases have come to light in the region. Some have been channelled through the proper authorities, and outcomes and findings have been made public. But most have simply been smothered by executive orders, or have become entangled in convoluted political processes that seem never-ending.  Despite the fact that East African countries have anti- corruption institutions and legal frameworks that are in place, including ratifications of the African Convention on Combatting Corruption, unbridled theft and abuse of state resources remains a problem.

Who are we?

Our hypothesis for change is that, given strong motivation from a diverse group of actors within an African sub-region, it is possible to build pressure at the level of the sub-regional body, or REC level, to strengthen national-level action against corruption.  The MSWG Eastern Africa region currently has 10 organisations namely: Advisory Board on Corruption Secretariat; Africa Centre for Open Governance; Africa Regional Office-OSF; Transparency International; Black Monday Movement; Centre for Citizens' Participation on the African Union; East African Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies; East Africa Civil Society Organizations' Forum; Pan African Lawyers Union; Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARa); Commonwealth Africa Anti- Corruption Centre (CAACC); Radio Veritas. The Steering Committee, which is elected by the MSWG, oversees specific implementation of the priority areas. The National Focal Points (NFPs) would provide linkage for national level to regional level anti-corruption efforts. The NFPs would be the drivers of national initiative or activities being targeted in specific countries. They would also recruit champions for regional initiatives such as ratification, policy implementations etc … 

Focus Areas:

MSWG focuses its efforts on elevating transparency and accountability within the Eastern Africa Region.  We prioritize our work in the following areas:

Strand ONE- or drop down

Campaigns AUCPCC and ACDEG ratifications and domestication EALA engagement identifying champion;

Strand TWO

Investigative journalism/training;

Strand FOUR

Litigation; model law presentation and implementation (PAP) with support from APNAC; EAC draft protocol on combatting corruption; Access to Information laws

Strand FIVE

Communication/outreach and Technology


Zexit: South African President Zuma Resigns

After mounting pressure from his parent party, African National Congress (ANC), the South African President Jacob Zuma resigned from his office with immediate effect on Wednesday. Accused of corruption and favoritism, the 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to his deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

His resignation came just hours after the police raided the compound of Gupta business empire in South Africa. Guptas (also known as Zuptas) are an influential business family in South Africa, who had alleged close links to President Zuma, who had helped them of ‘state capture’. According to reports, the elite police unit, Hawks, have arrested one of the Gupta brother, Ajay in relation with the R220m looted from the failed dairy farm in Vrede.

South African senior journalist Monica Laganparsad speaking to Newsclickin an interview said that, the resignation of Zuma was expected as he was left with no option. “After surviving multiple no-confidence motions against him in the parliament, his nine lives are over.”

Zuma agreed to step down after his live speech addressing the nation where he said that he disagrees with the party’s act of removing him.

“Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC," said Zuma.

Noting that he had served the people of South Africa to the best of his ability, Zuma added“I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment, for they are the lawful mechanisms for the people of this beautiful country to remove their president."

He said that violence and discord within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.

"No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect," he was quoted as saying.

"As I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organisation I have served... all of my life."

The resignation saves Zuma from facing another no confidence motion.

"It has been going on for almost three to four years and we believe that we do need to give this comrade respect and also spare him the humiliation of the ongoing votes of no confidence that come to Parliament," ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said .

Responding to Zuma’s question of why he was being recalled by the party, Durate said "I think that President Zuma is within his rights to request reasons or [for wanting to know] what his transgressions are.” He further added that ANC will provide him the reasons for the move. 

The ANC responding to the Zuma's resignation noted that the move provided "certainty to the people of South Africa.”

Duarte told reporters that Zuma, even after his resignation, remains a principled member of the ANC, and the party does recognize his contribution.

South Africa Officials Need ‘Lifestyle Audits’ to Detect Corruption

South Africa should more closely monitor the activities and financial dealings of senior civil servants if President Cyril Ramaphosa is to succeed in his battle to fight corruption, a National Treasury official said.

State employees with high levels of responsibility should be subjected to annual “lifestyle audits” to detect signs of corruption, according to Ismail Momoniat, a deputy director-general at the Treasury. The government should also be aware of details of senior workers’ bank accounts, he said at an anti-graft event in Johannesburg on Thursday.

“We need to have people who will ask questions, and without fear or favor,” he said. “The Treasury has lost a lot of people, but it can gain in capacity if the political will is there.”

Since December 2016, former President Jacob Zuma removed Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and Mcebisi Jonas his deputy. Lungisa Fuzile resigned as director-general and three deputy directors-general also left the Treasury.


Corruption Allegations

Momoniat, who is in charge of tax and financial-sector policy at the Treasury, said that over the course of Zuma’s rule the department had become powerless to investigate allegations of corruption. “If you did see anything, you would get fired if you acted,” he said. “You couldn’t act, as the managers at the top didn’t want to act.”

His comments came hours after Ramaphosa was sworn in on Thursday following Zuma’s resignation the previous evening, which ended a nine-year tenure riddled with corruption scandals. The president has pledged to tackle endemic government graft, including so-called “state capture,” or the collusion by state officials with outside business interests to loot cash from institutions and influence appointments.

Gupta Arrests

A special police unit known as the Hawks has moved to arrest members of the Gupta family, who are accused of using their relationship with Zuma and one of his sons to win lucrative state contracts and influence the appointment of cabinet ministers. They and the Zumas deny wrongdoing.

Momoniat was speaking at the event chaired by Peter Hain, the former U.K. cabinet minister who has campaigned against corruption in South Africa, the country of his birth. Now that Ramaphosa is president, there might be more scope for the Treasury to help in ongoing investigations into international companies linked to the Guptas, Hain said. KPMG LLP, Mckinsey & Co Inc., SAP SE, HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc have all been scrutinized for work done for the family.

“Treasury should put out an order on foreign governments, regulators and banks to get the information they need,” he said.

— With assistance by Arabile Gumede

South Africa: Cyril Ramaphosa to outline anti-corruption strategy

Cyril Ramaphosa will outline his strategy to restore economic growth, fight corruption and tackle entrenched inequality in South Africa in the first major speech of his presidency.

The former deputy president was sworn in as head of state hours after being elected unanimously by parliament to replace Jacob Zuma, who resigned late on Wednesday following accusations of corruption and economic mismanagement.

In a short speech in parliament on Thursday, Ramaphosa, 65, vowed to fight graftand unite South Africans.

Play Video
 South African MPs celebrate as Cyril Ramaphosa is sworn in - video

“Issues to do with corruption, issues of how we can straighten out our state-owned enterprises and how we deal with ‘state capture’ are issues that are on our radar screen,” he said, in a reference to alleged improper influence over government institutions, ministers and state-owned businesses by Zuma’s associates.

Ramaphosa reached out to opposition parties, telling parliamentarians “South Africa must come first in everything we do”.

“This is not yet uhuru (freedom). We have never said it is uhuru. We are going to seek to improve the lives of our people on an ongoing basis, and since 1994, we have done precisely that,” he said.


Who is Cyril Ramaphosa?

The annual state of the nation address was to have been given by Zuma eight days ago, but was postponed to allow Ramaphosa, who is the leader of the ruling African National Congress, and other senior party officials to negotiate his predecessor’s departure.

The ANC has a substantial majority in parliament and the vote was effectively a formality. Although deeply divided, the party has closed ranks after the crisis of recent days and rallied around Ramaphosa.

There are very high expectations of the president.

David Everatt, a professor of politics at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, wrote on the Conversation: “Ramaphosa is no messiah, and when the post-Zuma champagne corks stop popping, South Africans need to assess him as a mere mortal … Ramaphosa has a massive job ahead of him in trying to reignite national pride, self-belief and mutual trust.”

ANC officials will be looking to Ramaphosa to improve its flagging popularity. Economic decline and multiple corruption scandals have undermined the image and legitimacy of the party, which led the struggle against apartheid and has been in power since Nelson Mandela became president after South Africa’s first free elections in 1994.

The ANC suffered significant setbacks in municipal elections in 2016 and could be forced into a coalition government at the national level, experts have said.

In an early sign of change, police raided the Johannesburg home of the Guptas, a family of wealthy businessmen alleged to have earned millions of dollars from contracts gained through improper dealings with Zuma and other government officials.

Ajay Gupta, one of the three brothers accused of wrongdoing, was declared a fugitive from justice on Thursday after failing to hand himself in to police.

Zuma and the family deny the allegations.

Ramaphosa, a former anti-apartheid activist turned successful businessman, is the standard bearer for the moderate, reformist faction of the ANC. Zuma, 75, represented the party’s more populist, nationalist element, commentators said.

In a televised address to the nation late on Wednesday, Zuma, who was due to leave power next year, said he was a disciplined member of the party, to which he had dedicated his life.

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