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Zimbabwe still ranked among the worst corrupt countries
Transparency International-Zimbabwe
December 06, 2012

Transparency International (TI) launched the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2012 on the 5th of December 2012. The CPI ranks countries or territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, a combination of polls, drawing on corruption related data collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI reflects the views of observers from around the world, including experts living and working in the countries or territories evaluated. Previously countries were ranked on a corruption scale from 1 to 10 where 1 the highest level of corruption and 10 being the least. For the year 2012 however Transparency International updated the methodology for the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012. Corruption Perceptions Index is now presented on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Zimbabwe being one of the countries assessed scored 20 on the CPI score and out of the 176 countries it was ranked number 163. In 2011 Zimbabwe had CPI score of 2.2 an overall rank of 154 out of 182 countries assessed.

The latest CPI reveals that corruption is on the increase in Zimbabwe. Over the year a lot corruption issues have emerged in the print out media from some of the key institutions and sectors such as education, health, mining, sports, and agriculture among others. Corruption has been rampant in the education sector where gross nepotism, favouritism has been used by education officials to exclude deserving orphans from benefiting from the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM). There has been poor service delivery in the health sector in which drugs meant for free distribution to HIV positive people were being sold at a fee by local nurses. The extractive industry has been tainted with incidents of bribery in the issuing of mining licenses and claims. All this shows that corruption in Zimbabwe is a key governance issue which is affecting development and the democratization process, Corruption amounts to a dirty tax, and the poor and most vulnerable are its primary victims especially the rural and marginalized communities. As such there is need for the Zimbabwean government to step up anti-corruption initiatives. Politicians and leaders should show will (especially those holding highest offices in the land) in combating corruption. The government must prioritise better rules on lobbying and political financing, make public spending and contracting more transparent, and make public officials and institutions more accountable.

Despite efforts of putting in place the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) it remains incapacitated to achieve its mandate. While legal frameworks to combat corruption exist it is also imperative to move towards a paradigm shift of implementing and enforcing various legislation such as the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, the Prevention of Corruption Act and international instruments such as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) that deter abuse of office. More so since corruption has a demand and supply side, it is important that the citizens of this country take a lead in fighting corruption by denying bribes and kickbacks. Over the past few years critics have blamed corruption on the office bearers and those in power. In depth analysis on the matter reveals that it's the ordinary citizens who are actually fueling corruption through bribing the bureaucrats and the office bearers. This means that the power to combat corruption does not lie in the various pieces of legislations and institutions but in people and the culture that they choose to adopt.

After a year with a global focus on corruption, people's expectations were that the governments would take a tougher stance against the abuse of power. The Corruption Perceptions Index results demonstrate that there are still many societies and governments that need to give a much higher priority to this issue. The government is strongly called upon to have a serious re-think in enacting effective anti-corruption mechanisms for the betterment of the country.

Visit the Transparency International - Zimbabwe (TI-Z) fact sheet

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