ZIMBABWE is failing to exorcise the ghost of corruption as it has been ranked as one of the most corrupt countries on the continent, a survey has revealed.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
According to Afrobarometer and Transparency International’s 10th edition of the Global Corruption Barometer, 60% of Zimbabweans think that corruption levels have increased in the past 12 months.
Seventy-one percent think that the government is doing a bad job in fighting corruption, while 25% of public service users paid a bribe in the past 12 months and 45% think the general public can make a difference in the fight against corruption.
According to the survey, overall bribe rate has increased from 22% in 2015 to 25% in 2019. Other key institutions that have been dogged by corruption include public schools, public clinics and health centres, identity documents procurement and the police.
Compared to 2015, there has been a 2% decrease on corruption with regards to the President’s Office which now stands at 28% from the 30% in 2015.
Other institutions that are affected by corruption include legislators and government officials, local government officials, the police, judiciary, business executives and traditional leadership.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone have the highest percentage of public service users who paid a bribe in the previous 12 months, Mauritius, Botswana, Cabo Verde have the least incidences of bribes.
The survey was conducted in 35 countries between September 2016 and September 2018, with 47 000 people aged 18 years and above, participating.
Recommendations were that African governments should investigate, prosecute and sanction all reported cases of corruption, with no exception; Enforce international bribery laws, like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Officials; Ratify, implement and report on the African Union Convention to Prevent and Combat Corruption (AUCPCC); Establish public registers, in open data format, with information on the actual owners of private companies and trusts ; Adopt open contracting practices, which make data clearer and easier to analyse and develop minimum standards and guidelines for ethical procurement.
The survey comes at a time when the government and Zanu PF are making efforts to name and shame corrupt officials within the rank and file of power.
Senior Zanu PF officials including secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and other politburo members were named in a name and shame exercise by the party’s youth wing.
The youths also exposed senior government officials as being at the centre of corruption, prompting the Politburo to institute a commission of enquiry into the allegations.