Confessions of bribery

HARARE - Just paid a bribe and feeling like making a confession?

Go online and a confession website has been created specifically for Zimbabweans forced to part with their hard earned dollars by public service providers.

Introducing confessions with a new twist, Zimbabweans can now exchange experiences of when where and why they paid a bribe and to whom on website:

This is part of an initiative to tackle corruption by harnessing the collective energy of citizens to show how much corruption is going on around, according to information on the website.

“It aims to quantify petty corruption by understanding the role of bribery in public service delivery.

The uniqueness of this anti-corruption movement lies in transforming data into knowledge to inform the government about gaps in public transactions and in strengthening citizen engagement to improve the quality of service delivery,” reads information on the website.

The website has been up since December 2009 but has been seeing more traffic in recent months, signifying the popularity it is gaining and the growing rate of corruption in Zimbabwe.

A sample of confessions from the website points to obvious culprits.

Police bribery tops the chart with 34 reports around Zimbabwe while driver’s licence bribes come second.

Other popular confessions are bribes to municipal services, the passport office, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and state power firm Zesa Holdings.

The website is playing the role of whistle blower, bringing to attention the location of people asking for bribes and how they do it.

“Man by the name Moyo clamped my vehicle saying my disc, which was valid, was on the wrong side of the dashboard. He made me pay $25,” reads one confession.

“Zimra officials at Plumtree Border Post are disregarding the invoices we submit when clearing our ex-Japs and they inflate prices so that we pay them,” reads another confession.

Goes another one: “I am one of those Zimbos who had never paid bribes for anything...until my brief visit to South Africa last year (August), paid on my way back at the border.”

“It was after three failed attempts of trying to get a driver’s licence when I was finally introduced to a VID Examiner. I passed,” said another.

“I paid $10 to the Zesa guy so that my electricity is not cut off for an overdue bill,” another person confessed.

With new technology taking root, the days of confessing face-to-face to a prejudiced human being may be facing extinction.

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