Corruption in its broad senseisdishonest or illegal behaviour,particularly enacted by those who possess the right to exercise authority,such as government officials andlaw enforcement personnel;it ismisconduct intendedby someoneassignedwith jurisdictional power, often to acquire personal benefit. Corruption includes many activities such as bribery,fraud and extortion; and Ifleft unaddressed,it maylead to the depravity and decay ofgovernment.
To overcome corruption in Tunisia,an integrated socialproject mustbe instatedand adopted by the whole communitywherebypublic interest is the nominal value.State institutions,whether in the cultural, judicial, educational ormediasectormust endeavour to raise social awareness,suchthat power and positions of authority are not assumed asmeans ofwhitewashing corruption and national wealth is not perceived asloot.Society and government have towork hand in handseekingto build prosperity,and aiming to bring forth ageneration willingtodifferentiate betweenprivate andpublic interest.
Political harmony between citizens and thestateis fundamentalin building the foundationsof a long-lastingdemocracy. As the youthmature andbecomemore socially integrated, they need stable and reliablegovernancein order to play a positive role in society.The state should notbear resemblance toa cop or a judge who protects the rich and corrupt from the anger of the poor anddeprived.Authoritarian structures as such,can only forcethe nation into a vicious cycle of vengeance andpursuanceof unjust enrichment.
In Tunisia, corruption has been an additional impediment to progress. Itsdeep-seated roots within the structure of the former police stateremain persistent and widespread throughoutthe fabric of society,indicating the intricacy behind its counteraction.In the past few months, corruptionbecamea matter of momentfollowing Parliament'sratificationof the newReconciliation Law and launch of the campaign “ManishMasameh” (I will not forgive). Despite Prime Minister Youssef Chahed'swaged war against corruption, hisstrategywill notbe enoughto heal the pain and agonyinflicteduponTunisians during the Ben Ali years.At best, thecrackdownwillsuspendthe lessercorruptindividuals and thesmall-time smugglers—beingonly the tip of the iceberg—and leaving out the fraudulent,highly positioned and nefarious men.
In order touproot corruption,an unspoken, unwrittenmutual agreementmust beestablished between people and the state, wherebycitizens areearnestin fulfilling their obligations,such as abiding by the law and payingtaxes. In exchange,the government is responsible for guaranteeing theirrights and security.