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Zambia makes gains against corruption from 14% to 9.8% but police remain most corrupt
16 August 2013, 11:44:23
The findings in this report also indirectly reflect some achievements as well as challenges that need urgent solutions in Zambia’s continued service delivery reforms.

‘The importance of such survey reports cannot be over emphasized and government will do everything possible to support initiatives such as this, which are intended to add value to the fight against corruption, says the Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Roland Msiska whose speech was read on his behalf by Anna Mwitwa Mwewa.

The Secretary to the Cabinet was speaking at the launch of the 2012 Zambia Bribe Payers’ Index Survey Report at government complex.

He expressed happiness that the Zambia Bribe Payers’ Index 2012 edition has provided for collection of information regarding monitoring of some indicators in the National Anti-Corruption Policy (NACP) because it will give government the opportunity to see how some of the measures it is putting in place to promote transparency and accountability are being implemented, including outcomes of some of these measures.

Stuart Nsana, a consultant who conducted the Zambia Bribe Payers’ Index 2012 giving the overall finding of the survey said the overall aggregate Bribery Score has reduced from 14% in 2009 to 9.8% in 2012.

This reduction is good news for Zambia and means that citizens who seek services have about 10% likelihood of being asked to pay a bribe in any of the government institutions that participated in the survey - see Table 1.

Nsana says, the survey also shows that the institutions vary in levels of vulnerability to corruption. The survey reveal that the government institution that is most vulnerable or that has officials or public officers susceptible to demand for bribes is the Zambia Police Service. It ranks as the most corrupt institution in Zambia.

Despite the Zambia Police scoring the highest corruption index, Nsana says, there has been a reduction to bribe levels in comparison to their performance in 2009, which stood at 66% to its currentstanding of 48% in 2012, a reduction of 17.7%.

Similar reduced trends can be found with all the institutions that participated in the survey during the same period, for instance the National Registration Office reduced from 22% to 12.3% resulting in +9.7 reduction; Ministry of Lands from 20% to 11.6% a +8.4 reduction, other institutions are ZESCO from 15% to 8.35% a +6.6 reduction and the Passport Office from 14% to 8% a +6.0 reduction.   

The survey revealed that institutions which are least likely to have bribe demands are, Immigration departments, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Works and Supply. A few parastatals and agencies like PACRA leaves very little room for dishonesty showing corruption levels at 0.3 (2009) to 0.45(2012) a reduction of 0.2, it also has the highest user satisfaction rating of 75%.

Institutions whose corruption ranking has worsened include the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) moving up the ladder to rank second most corrupt institutions with the lowest user satisfaction rating of 37%. In 2009, RTSA ranked fourth most corrupt institution.

Ministry of Health is ranked the third most corrupt institutions from sixth in the 2009 report, with the department of National Registration in the top five corrupt institutions ranking fourth in the 2012 the same position it held in 2009. Ministry of Lands was ranked third in 2009 and is fifth in 2012, making a slight improvement.

With respect to whether the judiciary instills confidence in its handling of corruption cases, 34.1% respondents said the Judiciary did while 60.75% said it did not.

TIZ Chapter president Lee Habasonda says ‘We must all be thinking about building a culture of zero tolerance against corruption’.

When comparing the different political administration’s corruption fight since 2000, Habasonda says, the report, states that President Michael Sata’s government is less successful compared to the late Levy Mwanawasa’s government. However, the report notes that people think Sata’s government is however more successful in comparison to Rupiah Banda’s government.

‘We have however noted that the more an institution relates or has an interface with the general public, the more likely they are to be reported as corrupt.

Anti-Corruption Commission vice chairperson Dr Steven Moyo says the ZBPI survey report, provide an invaluable document for reporting to the stakeholders and the general public on the impact of government anti-corruption interventions and thereby placing the performance against corruption in the public domain.

Moyo says the policy goal that ‘prevention is better than cure’ in stopping corruption and related malpractices before it occurs is most cost effective, and it is cheaper than carrying out investigations and prosecutions after damage has already been done.

The ZBPI has been produced every other year since 2004 with the main objective of generating empirical data on the incidences of corruption that can be used by anti- corruption stakeholders in the advocacy of greater transparency and accountability in the governance of Zambia.

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