Should corruption be legalised?

Should we teach our children to be corrupt?

Well, there are many corrupt yet successful people among us, and very few of these people ever get punished. This has led me to think of some positive benefits of corruption.

It has also made me believe that even as we teach our children about the Maji Maji Rebellion and the Hehe Uprising, we should introduce a subject specifically tackling this matter.

Last month, Jimmy’s class sat a math test.

His teacher excused herself soon after delivering the papers, so practically all the students copied their answers from their textbooks.

As expected, most students scored high marks, save for a few good ones such as Jimmy, who opted to play clean.

“Hiyo hesabu ilikuwa noma sana,” he moaned as he presented the test paper to me. “But since I am a good boy who knows that cheating in examinations is wrong, I did my own work and I am very proud of the results.”

I looked at the paper and tears started welling up in my eyes.

He had scored an E. I did not know whether to congratulate this “good” boy for his honesty or smack him in the face for failing an exam when he had the chance to do better.

“Your son is growing more stupid with age,” I complained to his mother later that evening.

“Look, he had a chance to score a superb grade, and all he managed was this miserable E. Well, he can forget the bicycle I had promised him!”

A week later, I helped Russell to do his homework, in which he was required to name some of our country’s major economic activities.

He had listed six: fishing, agriculture, tourism, mining, bee-keeping and pastoralism.

Wrong Values

“You forgot to include corruption, son,” I told him after reading his answers. “Or don’t you think corruption is an economic activity?”

“But.... Corruption is a vice, dad!” he gasped. “The teacher will punish me. She will think I am joking!”

“Being a vice does not change the fact that it is an income-generating activity,” I replied. “It depends on how well you present your argument.”

I figured that, as corruption has enriched people who would otherwise be hustling in the streets, Russell’s teacher would be flexible and sensible enough to flesh out the merits of this answer.

The boy finally agreed to include my suggestion in his script, and, in what surprised the entire family, the teacher awarded him a half mark for this answer!

“You are planting the wrong values in the minds of our children, Baba Jim,” Mama Jimmy scolded me after seeing our son’s impressive marks. “Corruption is wrong. Parents should fight it, not glorify it.”

Well, all I did was to point out a reality that most people hate to admit to: corruption pays — handsomely!

Many people publicly admonish corruption, but they secretly wish they could pull off even bigger scams and become overnight millionaires without breaking a sweat. Thus, Baba Jimmy has no business teaching his children to be smart at reciting poems, writing compositions and calculating complex mathematical figures, while the next parent is busy positioning his child to loot those figures.

Fortunes From Looting

“Let’s face it, dear,” I told my wife. “Corruption is a viable economic activity, and it pays. We may not like it, but that’s the reality.”

If you have a daughter that you want to marry off in future, chances are that most eligible bachelors will have made their fortunes by looting. You may also have to grease palms if you want to secure plum jobs in some establishments, as there is no guarantee that your academic papers will get you those jobs.

And you shouldn’t always look the other way when a bribe flies right into your face.

“So you want us to teach corruption to our children?” she demanded.

“Yes!” I replied. “Some education on this subject would help. Wasizubae kama mafala wakati wenzao wanapotajirika.”

Honesty and hard work do not necessarily mean success in life, fellow countrymen. I may not encourage my children to partake of corruption, but I will teach them a few tricks of the game.

Related Topics

corruption graft