via ‘Govts not doing enough to fight corruption’ | The Herald December 2, 2015
Most Africans say corruption has risen in the past 12 months and most governments are seen as failing to stop the abuse of power by senior officials engaged in corrupt activities, according to a new opinion poll by Transparency International.
In the report entitled “People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015, part of the Global Corruption Barometer”, TI partnered Afrobarometer, which spoke to 43 143 respondents across 28 countries in the sub-Saharan Africa between March 2014 and September 2015 to ask them about their experiences and perceptions on corruption in their countries.
The majority (about 58 percent) of Africans in the surveyed countries say corruption has increased over the past 12 months.
In 18 out of 28 countries surveyed, the majority of people said their governments were not doing enough to fight corruption.
Despite these disappointing findings, some bright spots across the continent were observed in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Senegal, Transparency International said.
For the first time, people surveyed reported some business executives as highly corrupt. Business ranked as having the second highest levels of corruption in the region, just below the police.
The police is regularly rated as highly corrupt, but the strongly negative assessment of business executives is new compared to previous surveys.
Many Africans, particularly the poor, are burdened by corruption when trying to get access to key basic services in their countries. About 22 percent of people that have come into contact with a public service in the past 12 months paid a bribe, the report said.
Of the six key public services that were surveyed, the survey found out that people who approached the courts or police for services might have been forced to pay a bribe.
“Corruption creates and increases poverty and exclusion. While corrupt individuals with political power enjoy a lavish life, millions of Africans are deprived of their basic needs like food, health, education, housing, access to clean water and sanitation.
“We call on governments and judges to stop corruption, eradicate impunity and implement Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals to curb corruption. We also call on the people to demand honesty and transparency, and mobilise against corruption.
“It is time to say enough and unmask the corrupt,” said Transparency International chairman José Ugaz.
While it is increasingly becoming clear that citizens are key part of any anti-corruption initiative, the survey finds that corruption reporting mechanisms are often seen as too dangerous, ineffective or unclear.
More than one out of three Africans thinks that a whistle-blower faces negative consequences for reporting corruption.
“Our work as civil society is clear. We have to spread a message of hope across the continent.
“Corruption can be tackled. People need to be given the space to stand up against it without fear of retaliation and governments need to get serious about ending the widespread impunity,” said TI
It said unless it is stopped, corruption will continue slowing development and economic growth while weakening people’s trust in government and accountability of public institutions.