The effect of corruption has many dimensions related to political, economic, social and environmental effects. In political sphere, corruption impedes democracy and the rule of law. In a democratic system, public institutions and offices may lose their legitimacy when they misuse their power for private interest. Corruption may also result in negative consequences such as encoring cynicism and reducing interest of political participation , political instability , reducing political competition, reducing the transparency of political decision making, distorting political development and sustaining political activity based on patronage, clientelism and money, etc.
In our society, the impact of corruption is often manifested through political intolerance, problems of accountability and transparency to the public, low level of democratic culture, principles of consultation and participation dialogue among others.
The economic effects of corruption can be categorized as minor and major. However, both in one way or the other have serious impact on the individual community and country. First and foremost, corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth. It is often responsible for increased costs of goods and services, the funneling of scarce public resources to uneconomic high profile projects at the expense of the much needed projects such as schools, hospitals and roads, or the supply of potable water, diversion and misallocation of resources, conversion of public wealth to private and personal property, inflation, imbalanced economic development, weakling work ethics and professionalism, hindrance of the development of fair in market structures and unhealthy competition there by deterring competition. Large scale corruption hurts the economy and impoverishes entire population.
In Social sphere, corruption discourages people to work together for the common good. Frustration and general apathy among the public result in a weak civil society. Demanding and paying bribes becomes the tradition. It also results in social inequality and widened gap between the rich and poor, civil strive, increased poverty and lack of basic needs like food, water and drugs, jealousy and hatred and insecurity.
Closer home, corruption is said to have been factors for the down fall of past regimes byway of undermining the legitimacy of the governments and weakening their structures, reducing productivity, hindering development, worsening poverty, marginalizing the poor, creating social unrest and then to their downfall.