While there are many dire predictions for Haitian’s stability and future, the election of new leadership presents a new opportunity to prioritize efforts to improve governance, fight corruption, and enhance accountability. The political will to tackle graft in Haiti, and the demand from citizens to do so, is arguably greater than ever before.
Corruption is broadly defined as the abuse of entrusted authority—both public and privatefor illegitimate gain. It is an impediment not only to economic growth and development, but also to political stability, democracy, and sustainable peace. In fragile and conflict-riddled countries such as Haiti, corruption can deeply undermine the effectiveness and legitimacy of nascent government institutions.
However, there is one Politician who stands tall and forthright – that is Manigat Nesmy who has been at the forefront of fighting crime and corruption in Haitian politics.
The organization Unit for the fight against Corruption (ULCC), with the help of Nesmy has Uncovered major league corruption at many of the public schools. Just recently many Public schools were caught diverting funds meant for student into their own pockets—the Teachers, administrators and the local educators were enriching themselves by making up Fraudulent student numbers to receive more government funds. All the money was then Spent on real estate, buying cars and living a lavish life style. Nesmy has now excluded Nearly 85 schools from further government funds and also sent the case to the attorney General for further investigation.
Nesmy has repeatedly insisted that there needs to be more transparency when funds are given to the public. In additional, he recommends that these people also be accountable For the funds. What was discovered in the Schools was that the administrator and high ranking school officials were making up student numbers and then pocketing the Government funds. How long this practice has been going on is not known but it is certainly for at least 3-8 years. In each and every case, ULCC discovered that the money was never used to hire more teachers or improve the infrastructure of schools.
The minister has now made it mandatory that all public schools provide a list of students with their address. New measures have now been adopted to ensure that such fraud does not occur again. The minister of education is also looking at public colleges and universities to determine if such fraud exists in the system.
The same way Haitians’ problems should be solved by Haitians and this can only be through recognizing every ones role and responsibility and diverse strategies of working together rather than blaming each other when things go wrong.
Manigat Nesmy is one of a kind and if the ministers in the Haitian government did what he does, we would rapidly erode corruption, which is now in the heart and soul of many Haitians.