On July 22, 2008, the Interdepartmental Commission of the Commission of audit and Good Governance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo made public the names of those involved in embezzlement of 1.3 billion US dollars. Among those named are three financial institutions (DGI, DGRAD, OFIDA) and six public enterprises (ONATRA, OCC, REGIDESO, SNEL, SONAS and RVA). The government promised to bring to justice individuals and agencies found guilty of this crime. However, Mr. Rachidi Akida, president of Anticorruption and Fraud League encouraged the government to continue its investigation, bring the criminals to justice and make sure they return all that they took. In a report by Radio Okapi on July 23, Mr. Akida expressed his skepticism and mistrust in the Congolese judicial system saying that “what is unfortunate for us is that one can denounce this diversion and at the end of the day one is not able to put the hand on the criminal, and especially to bring him to justice. If you remember, when there was a denunciation of certain ministers of the previous government, they were dismissed from their duties, but after that they no longer were bothered. And, moreover, they were not brought to justice, and never returned the amounts they were accused to have stolen.” The Cost of Corruption to a Nation: Corruption has been institutionalized and remains one of the weaknesses of the DRC government. The cost of corruption is extremely high. Rooted in the culture of not applying laws, corruption is an expression of a resistance to accountability. Such behavior prevents the people to participate in government, which is in fact one of the ways to shut down the democratic process because no civil society can be empowered in a chronic corruption environment. One of the tangible results of corruption in the DRC is the failure of the state to control its resources . While at the state level politicians sign fraudulent mining contracts with multinationals, the strongest at provincial and grassroots level create illegal markets just to survive from the state indifference, failure and abuse of its power. Corruption is a good ground for tribalism and regionalism at the expense of nationalism and the common good. Corruption in the D. R.C is a phenomenon whose solution is long overdue. The question at hand is: Can the D. R Congo be rebuilt without addressing the corruption pandemic? The International Crisis Group has a handful of suggestion and analysis.
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