‘Corruption on the increase in Zim’

via ‘Corruption on the increase in Zim’ – DailyNews Live by Ndakaziva Majaka 18 DECEMBER 2013 

Whether you are a number one retailer or a humble street vendor, paying public officials a bribe may be the quickest way to get things done in Zimbabwe.

Afrobarometer investigators probing corruption in African countries found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments in Zimbabwe.

The damning probe has lifted the lid on a culture of corruption in Zimbabwe that many of its citizens take for granted.

Nearly one-third of Zimbabweans have been forced to pay bribes, including for medical treatment the research institute said.

“The poor’s experience with bribes in their day-to-day interactions with public servants is increasing social inequality and exacerbating the differences between the rich and the poor as the poor are the hardest hit,” the report says.

“They are more vulnerable to corruption than are their better-off peers, particularly in Zimbabwe with the rampant corruption.”.

The think-tank also notes corruption has increased in Zimbabwe.

“At the country level, experiences of corruption have declined in Nigeria, Senegal and Mali while they have increased in Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe,” the report says.

“With this, the bribe situation has shot up in Zimbabwe.”

Afrobarometer’s report comes in the wake of Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ)’s corruption report, which  implicated the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Registrar-General’s Office, football authorities and Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots in shakedowns.

TIZ says 62 percent of Zimbabweans have paid a bribe to the education system, judiciary system, medical and health services, the police, registry and permit services, utilities, tax revenue and land services.

“Police, public servants and political parties seem as the most corrupt institutions in Zimbabwe, closely followed by the health sector and education sector,” said TIZ.

“The most common reasons for paying a bribe in Zimbabwe are to speed up things and to ensure that one gets services.”

Isis Mwale, a Harare-based economic analyst, said: “Civil servants are accepting bribes because their salaries are way below the poverty datum line so they are looking for alternative sources of income.

Government should cater for its workers or stop recruiting so many of them.”