By KABS KANU :
Just when you want to think that Transparency International should be taken seriously after previous flawed studies and polls , then this . How can a whole organization that wants to be looked at as credible base their conclusions on the number of people who said they paid a bribe to a public body in the last year ? How many times must it be drummed home to these organizations that in these guided polls, people often lie, exaggerate or even deliberately misinform , depending on their state of mind at the time ?
While it is an undeniable fact that there is corruption in Sierra Leone, like other countries, the method of arriving at their conclusion that corruption is more prevalent in Sierra Leone than other countries is questionable , given the method used. The method of research or polling determines the validity of the conclusions. It has been found out that most people polled in such studies answer to please or satisfy the preconceived notions of the pollster.
Of course , as seen in the social media, online forums and online newspapers, many Sierra Leoneans want to tarnish the image of their country for purely partisan reasons. How neutral were the people polled by Transparency International ? How wide was the field of respondents ? Did the poll involve Sierra Leoneans from all walks of life ? If the field of respondents involve only a small sample and they do not represent the entire country, how can Transparency International build such far-reaching conclusions on the polls ? This had always been the problem with such polls and that is why they are unreliable and inaccurate.
The problems with opinion polls have been dealt with by reputable organizations. In a study of opinion polls by History. org , it was discovered that they do not produce an accurate reflection of the situation they want to portray. The organization states : ”So the first requirement of a trustworthy poll is the selection of an accurate sample or miniature of the population.” We do not think that this was done by Transparency International. The organization also posits : “The size of the sample used in opinion polling naturally affects the accuracy of the results.” How can you talk to a few people who may not even be telling you the truth and then conclude from their responses that a country is the most corrupt . One would have thought that an important organization like Transparency International would have depended more on field studies.
Organizations like Transparency International are not only doing a great disservice to their own credibility ; they are hurting the interests of hardworking and striving countries like Sierra Leone. Just when Sierra Leone has forged very important and valuable socio-economic and political as well as diplomatic partnerships with credible partners-in-progress, donor agencies and goodwill nations, then comes this very flawed and unfair polls that has the capacity to change the good perceptions we have toiled blood, sweat and tears to carve out over the past years about our country .
Since President Ernest Bai Koroma came to power in Sierra Leone , this country has waged an undaunted and determined battle against corruption. The President ensured that he gave more teeth and sweeping powers to the Anti-Corruption Commission ( ACC) and not only that there have been more prosecution of corrupt elements than ever in the history of the nation. The reason that it seems like there is prevalent corruption in Sierra Leone is that the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma has created greater awareness of the evil and more people are being prosecuted now than ever , unlike the past when everything was buried under an avalanche of official secrecy and cover-ups and the media were so kept in the dark that there was little outcry as we have today. Organizations like Transparency International should be professional and credible enough to recognize the efforts being made by President Koroma and Government to nip corruption in the bud.
It would be very optimistic to expect Transparency International to follow such a course because they are nothing but a For-Profit organization that has to reinforce the preconceived notions of theor principals.
WE WILL DISCUSS THAT IN PART 2 TOMORROW