Corruption breeds poverty and hardship. They in return produce thieves

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Theft and outright dishonesty are among some of the most prevalent problems in Samoa today. 

It is happening everywhere. You’ll find it in the government; churches, villages and families – the pillars of this country. There is widespread and ever growing penchant to steal anything and everything – the moment no one is looking.

Indeed, we’re talking about the rise in petty crimes and the deteriorating state of our morals. Take the simple principle of honesty, for example. 

Judging by the number of theft cases in this country today, there is no doubt we have a serious problem that needs to be addressed. It appears that theft has become part and parcel of life on these shores. 

It’s heart-breaking to say the least. In a country where we pride ourselves on our cultural and religious values, it’s a crying shame.

The question is: have we slipped so low, to the point that stealing has become an accepted part of life? 

Have we become so immune to the stories of stealing we are told from left, right and centre every day that we no longer care?

This is not the first time we have asked these questions. Over the past few years, we have become extremely concerned about the prevalence of this issue, especially if the accounts from the Courts are anything to go by.

But the Court is only one forum.

Elsewhere, according to a number of business people this column has spoken with, theft has become one of their biggest problems. They say some employees would steal everything and anything, that in some work places, if they could steal the toilet bowl, they would.

Isn’t that a sad indication of how low morality and the standard of life has become for many people?

Don’t people care anymore about the Bible and its teachings? 

Have we forgotten that God is watching no matter what? Are we becoming a nation that is no longer God-fearing? Do these people not care at all that Samoa has just officially become a Christian state?

We appreciate that these are tough and troubling times and that desperation knows no bounds. But that shouldn’t be an excuse. Even if we are struggling, we can all make a decent living off the sweat of our brow. Not stealing.

The truth is that if the growing number of theft cases is anything to judge by, this country is surely heading for a future we do not want. 

We believe honesty is the first victim of theft. You see, the moment someone decides to steal, honesty immediately disappears from their vocabulary. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a pen, a phone, a lavalava or taking credit from someone’s mobile phone. 

There is no such thing as a black and white crime. They are all the same.

Now, it was only a few years ago that this country experienced its first case of armed robbery. Since then, we’ve seen several cases of armed robberies. 

Just recently, two young men broke into a store in town, stole goods from there and then burnt the place to the ground. This is absolutely astonishing for a place like Samoa.

Now let us ask you one more time to think about poverty, hardship and corruption. 

Think about the general attitude towards these issues. 

In Samoa, most of our leaders – especially the government - don’t believe they exist. 

Believe me they do.

Corruption breeds poverty. And poverty is responsible for a class of citizens who are so desperate they will do anything and everything – including unimaginable crime – to get by. 

Did you know that there are people in Samoa who actually steal monies from purses and wallets inside church buildings? 

Now if they say that God’s presence is in the church, imagine the horror then of God watching on while people commit absolute crime before his eyes? All this in Christian-state Samoa? 

How awful and shameful! 

Have a safe Tuesday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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