'Zim lacks will to fight corruption'

HARARE - After losing approximately $2 billion to corruption in 2013 alone, the Zimbabwean government lacks the willpower to fight the sleaze especially in public office, Transparency International (TI) has said.

According to its “People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015 report” TI says out of a total of 22, Zimbabwe is among the 18 governments in Sub Saharan Africa that are seen as completely failing to address corruption.

“The Zimbabwean government was rated negatively on its anti-corruption efforts by a clear majority of its citizens.

“In the country, the majority of surveyed citizens (58 percent) said that corruption had increased over the past year,” TI said.

The report also said that nearly 75 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are estimated to have paid a bribe in 2015 — some to escape punishment by the police or courts, but many forced to pay to get access to the basic services that they desperately need.

TI partnered with Afrobarometer for the study and spoke to 43 143 people across 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Findings indicated that across the region, the police and business executives were seen to have the highest levels of corruption.

“The police have regularly been rated as highly corrupt, but the strongly negative assessment of business executives is a new development.

“22 percent of Africans who came into contact with a public service in the past 12 months say they paid a bribe… Across the region, poor public service users are twice as likely as rich people to have paid a bribe,” TI said.

According to the study, out of six key public services, people who come into contact with the police and the courts are the most likely to have paid a bribe.

“People in the region are divided as to whether ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption — just over half of people think that they can (53 percent), while 38 percent think they cannot. Only roughly one-in-ten people who paid a bribe actually reported it,” the survey said.

This comes as the country was rated among the most corrupt nations in southern Africa in a recent Transparency International (TI) survey, ranking 163 out of 176 countries.

TI’s corruption perception index — ranking countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived — indicated that Zimbabwe’s corruption record continued to worsen after falling nine places from 154 last year.

Zimra commissioner-general Gershom Pasi is on record saying a total $6 billion was corruptly earned in Africa.

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