Exploring and investigating corruption in successive governments, Lusaka district: a reflexivity approach in the United Party for National Development (UPND) New Dawn Government.

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Phiri, Chidongo; Daka Harrison; Munkoyo, Delina Nanjekana; Mwale, Masauso; Machacha, Eliphas.
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International journal of advanced multidiscplinary research and studies
This study aimed to explore and investigate corruption in successive governments with specific reference on the UPND New Dawn Government in Lusaka District, Zambia, reflexively. To do so, the study explored, investigated and identified various factors that facilitate corruption such as: The power of political beliefs system, poverty, inequality, weak institutions, ineffective anti-corruption measures, cultural and social capital and great latitude of impunity among public officials. Key informants also emphasized the lack of transparency and weak oversight institutions as factors facilitating the contributing to an increase on corruption. These findings resonated with Treisman's (2000) [77] and Phiri’s (2017) [62] researches, which identified the role of social and economic heterogeneity, specifically ethnic fractionalization and prestation. Further, the study highlighted the complex dynamics at play in the context of political and cultural corruption, poverty, and the ineffectiveness of anti-corruption measures. The study noted the lack of a clear legal framework to combat corruption, whistleblower protection, enhanced oversight, and independent anti-corruption agencies. Challenges in the fight against corruption included a lack of funding and resources, political interference, whistleblower vulnerability, and limited education and awareness. These challenges were in line with the findings of Maiga (2023) [40], highlighting the negative impact of corruption on human capital development. Culturally, corruption led to the normalization of unethical behavior, erosion of trust, and an impact on social cohesion. These findings underlay the far-reaching effects of corruption on society and underscore the importance of addressing this issue comprehensively. Methodologically, the study used a mixed research technique, even though the larger part of it was explorative approach thus, involving interviews, focused group discussions, storytelling and observations. The study used a sample of 100 respondents who were selected using purposive sampling technique. Core to the sampling of 100 respondents is the reflexivity approach which is about acknowledging our positionality in the research. This reflexive qualitative research, meant as researchers, we were part of the study process, and our prior experiences, assumptions and beliefs influenced the research process and findings. Reflexivity in this study meant to establish rigour, similar to the processes of defining measurement tools for validity in quantitative research. Therefore, the reflexivity research design combined both qualitative and quantitative methods, involving content analysis for qualitative data and simple statistical quantification to present quantitative data. Nevertheless, the bulk part of this research method was anchored on qualitative methods. Quantitative technique was used to justify the extent of UPND’S corruption since other methods have proven inconsistent to prove it. The study's findings uncovered an increase in the presence of corruption in the New Dawn Government, despite campaign promises to reduce it in a transparency and accountable manner. This study was anchored on how Bourdieu views individuals as actors playing a “game of life” that is both structured and unstructured by the exchange of forms of capital (economic and socio-cultural). Of course, the game has rules, but many are unwritten, and can also be a matter of contention amongst players. The game theory was used to determine the level of accomplices for the corruption crime, were there is not enough evidence for a felony conviction. The argument was that perpetrators of corruption take the actions simply as a game and not a felony, hence its increase and persistence by the actors in the UPND government. In conclusion, the study revealed that while there are measures in place to combat corruption in the UPND New Dawn Government, challenges persist. Addressing these challenges and promoting a culture of transparency and accountability is essential because corruption undermines economic development, erodes cultural values and social cohesion. It is recommended that efforts to combat corruption include strengthening oversight institutions, promoting ethical leadership, and simplifying legal processes. Public awareness campaigns and measures to reduce poverty and inequality should be prioritized. Keywords: Corruption, Reflexivity, Game Theory, Prestations, Cultural and Social Capital
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