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Accountability: A sine qua non to good democratic governance

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Added 13th September 2018 10:39 AM

Accountability is a dear issue and is in consonance with the pro-national reconstruction philosophy crusade and institutional re-articulation.

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Accountability is a dear issue and is in consonance with the pro-national reconstruction philosophy crusade and institutional re-articulation.

OPINION
 
There are four pillars of good governance that build, restore, and main public trust which are transparency, accessibility, responsiveness and accountability.
 
Accountability is a dear issue and is in consonance with the pro-national reconstruction philosophy crusade and institutional re-articulation.
 
Devoid of the norm of accountability, African states are still haggling with self created dilemma of failure to smelt a strong iron of elements to decolonise Africa from the horrors of colonialism and the nightmares of neocolonialism.
 
Accountability circumscribes the democratic values with a function of ingenuity and a normative governance framework that my wananchi granny from the hills of mombokolo will proudly call "good".
 
After independence, and in tandem the democratic consolidation of uprooting autocratic reigns, accountability could be a switch to "Africa's third liberation" which is good governance. 
 
The practical divide between first and third worlds is explained by the essential quality difference between the extractive and inclusive institutions that dominate the national profile.
 
A political institution is inclusive when it commands a boundless spectrum of citizen's participation that doesn't alienate the tenet of accountability while extractive institutions are anciently emperor-faceted and confined to the narrow interests of elite formations.
 
Therefore lack of accountability since it hides wrong and hampers flow of yielding people's opinions, gives understanding of how and why Africa's institutional dynamics are harshly extractive with a burning stew of inherently patrimonial political disorientation.
 
In my opinion, I attempted why we lack accountability: it could be due to persistent and underlying cultural hypothesis where modern leaders still hold on to chieftaincy syndrome where the subjects would gather the good yields of their harvests (modern day taxes) in the chief's backyard and of course never question how consumed.
 
There are two truths; the first is that cultural frameworks can shape the political and economic behavior, pacifying is the second truth that institutional consolidation is vital in undermining cultural traditions that hamper accountability on which Democratic governance is premised
 
Politicised bureaucracy is also a problem to accountability since this creates two syndromes of many hands with a popular question "who accounts?" and the syndrome of many eyes with a famous question "who is accounted to?".
 
The latter parenthesis quotes a scenario that would get a common response of "every citizen has a right to be accounted to". Though most African governments play their Aces individually well and politically wrong by having social classes of who deserves this right. 
 
I think Africa should do the following to foster accountability: openness on the government performance and future decisions aided by access to information: governments should apply the principle of subsidiarity and use of ICT to bring the citizens closer; this can be done through E-government guided by the UN e-government readiness index which involves the web measure index premised on the quality of e-services and e-products, the telecommunications infrastructure index premised the infrastructure capacity and lastly the education index premised on people's capacity to understand such ICT systems.
 
Ensuring robust external audit by independent authorities and facilitating sector specific watchdogs. Establishing ombudsman offices where citizens can launch their appeals, claims and complaints.
 
Creating employee contractual frameworks based on principal-agent logic with incentives such as sanctions linked to performance; merit should be fundamental in attaining professional and corruption-free administration amidst strong employment ethics guided by the civil service charters such as the iberoamerican civil service charter with powerful amor to foster professional public service: this would foster accountability.
 
Strengthening parliamentary scrutiny by giving power to Parliament to launch inquiries and expand public consultation in a bid to complement elective democracy.
If in an interview you listed the thieves you knew minus your uncountable self, my dear you failed the interview.
 
Accountability is indubitably an indispensable consonant in the alphabet of good Democratic governance. Not only as its hallmark but also as a sine qua non.
 
Kansiime Onesmus
 
Kansmus@gmail.com
 

 

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