Extortion of sexual favours: A form of corruption

KELVIN Siwale.

CORRUPTION involves at least two parties and usually involves the payment of gratification either in cash or in kind.

Now, in every corrupt transaction, we have two sides of the equation, active and passive. This brings in the concept of active and passive corruption.
The initiating side is the active side of corruption while receiving or giving, in response to solicitation or an offer, is what is called passive corruption.
However, corruption remains corruption, whether active or passive.
Corruption is a complicated crime that is difficult to prove in court.
Corruption relating to sexual favours is even more complex to prove.
Imagine if a manager solicits for a sexual favour for him to employ a young lady in dire need of employment, in case of a win-win situation, just like in any other kind of corruption, it might not be known.
As a matter of fact, even in a situation where the lady loses out, she will be shy to cry out and it will just be eating her up.
Transactions like this one are common in situations where people are desperately in need of a favour.
We have heard of situations where students will exchange sex for grades.
These are situations where a student knows that if they are not helped, they will not pass the exam or achieve their targeted grades.
Immoral lecturers will take advantage of them and solicit sexual favours.
In some cases, students themselves will offer a lecturer sex in exchange for good grades in an exam.
This is how far complex corruption can go, because in such cases, with both parties satisfied, it is unlikely that information will get into the public domain.
It is a well-known fact that some people are in the habit of soliciting for sexual favours for them to favour some individuals, especially young ladies looking for employment or are due for promotion.
Mind you, this is an act of corruption where gratification is paid in kind.
With this kind of corruption, we end up having people who don’t deserve the best grades from exams actually getting them and those who don’t deserve promotion getting promoted in workplaces.
By the way, it is easy to question if somebody who does not have qualifications is promoted or if somebody who did not sit an exam is given a certificate.
But we are talking about a situation where somebody has the qualifications or has sat an exam like any other person but has obtained an undue advantage over others because of sexual favours.
Institutions can avoid such vices by coming up with human resource policies which guide how employment of staff should be done. No single person should have power to influence the employment of any candidate.
If you see somebody insisting on a particular candidate and proposing to bend the rules just to get that candidate in employment, then you should know that there is vested interest. They may have already been gratified and the candidate is just waiting for the job.
Further, institutions should ensure entrenchment of ethics in their organisations. Managers should exhibit high levels of integrity in their dealings. Why demand for sexual favours from an employee for you to put them on a lucrative international trip?
This is evil! Whether you are in the private or public sector, this is corruption and one day you will be caught. Mind you, with this kind of corruption, you don’t only lose your job and go to jail, but you also lose your marriage. Your reputation in society will be damaged.
Lastly, to all who are hunting for jobs, let’s not compromise our integrity by succumbing to solicitation of sexual favours by employers.
For your information, some of them just take advantage of your desperation and after seeing that the panel has already selected you, they will call you and say that they can help you pass the interview if you can offer yourself to them.
Once you succumb and you are picked, you will think that it was because of their help, yet you genuinely passed the interview. This person actually already knew and took advantage of you.
Let’s value ourselves and not fall into such traps. Some people have been disappointed after being used. They have ended up without the favours they wanted in return. You may think of giving it a try.
After all, through sexual favours, you don’t risk losing any money, but your value is far much more than rubies. You can’t sink so low, not even for a lucrative contract. Say no to corruption in whichever form it comes.
The author is an anti-corruption specialist.

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