Is accountability a myth or not, let’s talk about it. “Be Accountable whether it attracts a punitive reaction or not, stand to be counted for standing for it.”
Credible information is power, when it’s shared and adds value to earn trust and remove suspicion. Others may say keep the cards to your chest. If you train someone or share information you are transferring power and in the end you are viewed as redundant or obsolete but trainers remain accountable for the action of their trainees during the training sessions.
The question that arises is “Is accountability demanded, freely given or voluntarily provided”. Accountability is mandatory and a rule of human conscience which governs this application, yet not everybody subscribes to this thinking. There are those who share this notion while others say hazvina basa izvozvo (it does not matter.) It only is applicable when the individual has something to gain, but true to human nature if they do not want to be accountable and answerable to anyone. Remember the biblical story of Adam and Eve, when they transgressed the conditions, rules and regulations that governed them, they refused to be answerable for their actions and gave flimsy responses and excuses. It is still the case even today.
Voluntary provision of information is subjected to a lot of questions and opens up a can of worms. If one voluntarily becomes accountable for his actions and discloses, questions arise as to why one is being so open, so transparent, so nice and is there a lot that has been hidden. Many people would choose to “keep them in the dark and pretend all is well” until accountability is demanded.
Certain people have who have suffered imprisonment were either victims of circumstances or even labeled names as a result of failure to account for their actions . Others were unable to speak eloquently or knit their facts together before the court of law hence it cost them heavily as they became victims of voluntary disclosure and giving an honest account of what transpired.
Accountability in accounting terms is referred to as an obligation of demonstrating some form of compliance to a certain act, policy, regulations by law and conditions laid down by an institution. This compels the professionals in this area to maintain certain acceptable standards which they are answerable to. This is the main reason why the auditors are appointed to make institutions accountable for their actions demanding accountability and transparency to prevail. “Who is going to police the police, who is going to audit the auditors?”
In this scenario professionals in this field have a benchmark to analyze what was expected and what actually transpired, hence the comparison of the two brings about the concept of “accounting for one’s actions and an explanation of the variance”. Accountability is also an act of declaration of what transpired in an honest transparent manner. It can be very rewarding when one earns positive results and quite motivating and can lead to more confidence in one’s action. Denying ourselves the accountability process as a nation, to develop within ourselves is self-destructive, as we build a society of “njake njake” thereby losing focus and direction. focus and direction is lost.
Concealing information on the other hand at whatever level destroys confidence, builds mistrust resulting in rumor mongering and questions about “who then is accountable to who and why?” There has been this “blame game” and shifting of goal positions where the leaders view responsibility and accountability as having a close relationship while the people being led may have other views. As a leader you can delegate responsibility but remain accountable for the actions of your subordinates, when they execute the delegated tasks.
In most marriages do partners disclose to the other party or declare their actions even when it’s negative e.g. “I am in a relationship outside marriage ”?. Does disclosure play a significant role in accountability e.g. boy-girl relationships, as parents and children, pastors and their congregations, doctor & patient, politicians and the electorate, employer and employee, manager and subordinate it is always a blame game. City fathers are often accused of poor delivery service and the public has a responsibility to reciprocate by ensuring garbage is not littered all over the streets. Are we accountable for these actions? Accountability is everyone’s responsibility regardless of the position one holds. Researchers have investigated and written articles and journals on all forms of abuses, i.e violence against women, forced early marriages perpetuated by those in one form authority or another so as to clearly demand accountability.
The question therefore is, is accountability a forced process or act? There is supposed to be accountability at all levels to be what we are today, as a nation to earn respect and trust. Do the above relationships translate to accountability or end up one being cheated, conned or forced by circumstances to be accountable.
One would like to restrict this argument to the financial sector only but let us go beyond that and apply this across the divide. Whenever there are human societies the demand for accountability is very inevitable. Accountability is therefore disclosure which brings about uncertainty because of the repercussions that follow. This is a call for all people to be accountable to build a better society.