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Corruption and its fight

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In recent decades, honesty, sincerity and truthfulness have given way to self-interest, nepotism, corruption, conflicts of interest, etc. In Suriname too, it threatens to become the norm and the rule that political and/or material advantage is obtained through unauthorized actions. The most common form of corruption is official bribery. The consequence of this phenomenon is that healthy and fair policies cannot be pursued.

Corruption scandals seem to form a normal pattern, especially in third world countries. Too much money is wasted on foreign travel with large delegations, on embassies with too many artificially created posts for political favorites. The parastatal companies or foundations are also clear examples of corrupt practices. Within these organizations, the highest positions are awarded to political loyalists.

It is well known that countries where corrupt acts are frequent, the World Bank and other institutions, such as IMF, IDB, etc. no longer (want to) give loans. Kenya and Nigeria had to experience that. Nigeria was the most corrupt country in the world in 1999. Under pressure from the IMF, the government had to abolish the dual exchange rate.

Transparency International maintains a corruption perceptions index. Suriname was on this list in 2021 in 87th place out of 180 countries. Fortunately, our country scored 39 out of a total of 100. Issues that are investigated to determine the score include: bribery, misuse of public funds; as well as abuse of power and position to self-benefit, nepotism, lack of legislation, whistleblower protection, inability to fight corruption in the public sector, openness/transparency of government etc.

Our country belongs to the small economies, which means that all corrupt acts together cause a considerable gap in the country’s treasury and that has resulted in a social, financial, economic crisis of enormous inflation, price increases, poverty, crime , prostitution and unemployment!

In Suriname one must conduct a corruption-free policy, so that every Surinamese gets equal opportunities to build a reasonable life. There is no lack of rules, but the institutions and in particular the persons who have to ensure that no corruption, fraud and malpractice take place, are themselves to blame. We must make society, and especially the managers, aware that they must display the right behavior pattern and play an exemplary role.

Any form of corruption must simply be punished by imposing high fines, adjusting, or tightening and applying the laws in such a way, applying the necessary disciplinary measures in accordance with the law, so that this shortcoming can be rooted and eradicated. It must be realized that the serious forms of corrupt acts that are taking place must come to an end. Corruption is also the greatest enemy of society and the development of the country. Therefore this must be tackled structurally.

The most important tool in the fight against corruption is the presence of strong independent institutions, which are led by experts and above all with integrity. Some of these include the judiciary, the free press, well-paid civil servants and companies that have to maintain themselves in fair competition. The Anti-Corruption Act must be sanctioned with the utmost urgency and must be strictly enforced.

In accordance with the oath/promise taken, it is required that every office holder must act and work in good faith. No manager or official can violate the promise made to Surinamese society and the law; in order to perform the duties properly. We as Surinamese, should be proud of the working method and especially of the actions of the sincere and honest Minister of Finance and Planning, Armand Achaibersing. A person of world stature, who may have dropped small stitches, but who has also written history in Surinamese politics. This is partly in view of the fact that he waives all possible provisions at the expense of the State.

Everyone is convinced that any form of fraud, malpractice, conflict of interest, nepotism and acts of corruption must be strongly condemned. Finally, it should be mentioned that one must act and work objectively, honestly and in accordance with the prescribed rules. Justice and law must apply to everyone, regardless of person!











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