Five students from Don Bosco Technological Institute (DBTI) Boroko, were part of the Chat Room, last Wednesday, to give their take on the crucial role the Act plays in ensuring transparency and accountability.
The students’ discussion focused on:
1. A brief insight into the origin of the Whistleblower Act, its function and benefits in addressing malpractice and corruption in the country’s various sectors.
2. Case reports that came under the media’s scrutiny, a distinction of efficiency when applying such an Act in developed and developing countries
3. The pivotal role youths played in steering the nation to prosperity
4. Duty of parents in teaching moral values and principles that should be ingrained in their children from an early age
5. And a strong call of action for people integrity to step forward and exercise their powers and rights provided for by the Act.
Third-Year student, Egbert Awani studying Metal Fabrication and Welding, said the purpose of the Act’s establishment was to identify and report cases of misconduct in office.
Another student, Frederick Kembu, a First-Year studying Information Technology, referenced a quote by Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke entitled ‘When Good People Do Nothing’, and said the legislation of the Whistleblower Act was a positive step forward but required honesty and bravery from individuals and groups in reporting practitioners of unprofessional conduct.
He told of renowned people who were Whistleblowers and the significant impact they caused in their country and urged the younger generation to aspire to be honest and responsible contributors in their respective societies putting their self-interest aside.
“Frank Serpico reported police corruption in the New York Police Department, and Aleksandar Obradovic of Serbia who leaked documents on corruption and fraud inside a state-owned company.
These people caused a major reform that underlined the grave importance of management of public offices. Our youth have within themselves this potential to cause tangible change out of genuine goodness and this should serve as a constant reminder as they come to serve society and grow older,” he expressed.
Emphasizing the need for more advocacy of the Act, Roberta Baraka, a Second-Year student in Maintenance and Machine Fitting, called for more strategic awareness that targeted youth and informed the masses.
Wayne Kasi, First-Year in Information Technology, shed light on the impact malpractice had on organizations and society and said many people tend not to report offences due to safety reasons.
“There is not enough awareness in society about the positive attributes this Act provides for. As a result, people are too afraid to speak out because they feel that in doing so it jeopardizes their own life and the lives of their family,” he said.
Chat Room's next session will be held on Wednesday, 4th of August, with students from Marianville Secondary School talk on the topic 'Engaging Youths in Fight Against Corruption'.