Public Speaking Competition
(From left to right: Akshaye Gunnoo; Jaleela Hassennally; Yashraj Bhudoye; Sonia Mukundane; Lauvna Ramburruth, Yashoda Fezah )


On 16 December 2015, Miss Natalie Sonia Mukundane, Law student of the Middlesex University Mauritius Branch Campus, topped the Anti-Corruption Public Speaking Competition organised by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and was proclaimed the grand winner. This 4th edition of the competition attracted 109 participants from 15 different tertiary education institutions.

The aim of the competition was to provide an opportunity for tertiary education students to research, reflect, share views and generate practical ideas on ways and means of fighting corruption. The success of the competition can be gauged by not only the number of candidates enrolled for the competition but also by the standard of their interventions as recognised by the jury panel.

Participants acknowledged that they benefited greatly from such a venture namely; in terms of public speaking before an audience, improvement in their communication skills, discovering the various facets of corruption and realising the urgent need for youth engagement in the fight. In addition, most participants demonstrated the extent to which the tentacles of corruption impacted negatively on sectors of society. It was unanimously pointed out that the fight against corruption should involve one and all. Participants also highlighted ICAC’s core values such as integrity, transparency and accountability.

The finalists demonstrated the evolution of their arguments from the preliminary to the final round of the competition. For her part, Mrs Meena Seetulsingh, chairperson of the jury panel, stated that it was a tough task to determine the rank of the 6 finalists as they all proved to have internalised the key notions of this   anti-corruption competition.

1. Winner: Miss Natalie Sonia Mukundane
Institution: Middlesex University, Mauritius Branch Campus
Theme: Promoting National Integrity through individual and corporate integrity.
Miss Mukundane, laid emphasis on “Corruption is a mind-set” and on the implementation of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Framework by public bodies. The key to promoting integrity and fight corruption was felt through her bold words: “If patriotism is promoted enough and individuals love their country so much, there is no way you are going to steal funds from something that is your own…”

2. 1st runner-up: Miss Yashoda Fezah
Institution: University of Mauritius
Theme: “Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery”, 10th principle, United Nations Global Compact.
Miss Yashoda was firm in her argument “…corruption is like a malignant tumour and business initiatives won’t be enough to defeat it. Therefore, the responsibility to fight corruption must be shouldered by every single person since eventually everyone will benefit from a corruption free world.”

3. 2nd runner-up: Miss Jaleela Hassennally
Institution: University of Mauritius
Theme: Bold anti-corruption initiatives in the education sector can trigger a corrupt-free generation.
Miss Jaleela emphasised on the inclusion of corruption related issues in the school curriculum at primary school level and on “…the role of the family as part of the education sector is primordial in the combat for a corrupt-free generation.”

4. Miss Lauvna Ramburruth
Institution: University of Mauritius
Theme: Whistleblowers’ legislation is an essential element in the successful fight against corruption
Miss Lauvna argued on the benefits of whistleblowing in promoting meritocracy which “Enables people to restore their trust into our institutions. Proper allocation of resources leads to further benefits to the departments or country.”

5. Mr Yashraj Bhudoye
Institution: Middlesex University Mauritius, Branch Campus
Theme: The effectiveness of anti-corruption works and strategies in the African continent.
Mr Yashraj commented on several anti-corruption initiatives adopted by countries in Africa and on how those initiatives impacted on the lives of people. Countries which have reinforced their legislation towards the fight against corruption have improved their economic growth and public trust.

6. Mr Akshaye Dev Gunnoo
Institution: Grant Thornton Business School
Theme: Youth engagement in anti-corruption activities can breed a corrupt-free Mauritius.
Mr Askshaye embarked the audience in the zealous will that the youth have the ability to contribute meaningfully in changing the mind-set “…youth is a spark which can either lighten or burn a country. The destiny of our paradise island and making it a corrupt free nation rest on the shoulders of our youth.”