Zimbabwe now more corrupt than Nigeria: report
President Emmerson Mnangagwa came into office in November 2017 promising to fight corruption but is yet to secure a high-profile conviction.
Zimbabwe has been ranked low in just-released Transparency International’s global Corruption Perception Index for 2019, with the report saying Zimbabwe fares worse than Nigeria, DR Congo and virtually all its regional neighbors when it comes to tackling graft.
The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
The report, which was released on Thursday, reads: “The report ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption which is collected by a variety of reputable institutions,” TI noted.
The index report says that Sub-Saharan Africa’s performance paints a bleak picture of inaction against corruption, as the region is the most corrupt in the whole world.
Somalia, South Sudan and Syria were singled out as the most corrupt nations in the world scoring 9, 12 and 13 per cent respectively.
With a score of 66, Seychelles earns the highest mark in the region, followed by Botswana (61), Cabo Verde (58), Rwanda (53) and Mauritius (52). At the bottom of the index are Somalia (9), South Sudan (12), Sudan (16) and Equatorial Guinea (16).
Other countries in Africa that scored poorly include Ethiopia at 37 per cent, Zambia (34), Nigeria (26), Zimbabwe (24) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (18).
President Emmerson Mnangagwa came into office in November 2017 promising to fight corruption, but is yet to secure a high-profile conviction.
The global anti-corruption body says its analysis shows that corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.
Madagascar (24) and Malawi (31) have significantly declined on the CPI, the report says. It further notes that Congo has been the subject of repeated reports of money laundering and embezzlement of public funds by the country’s political elite with no action taken by national authorities.
Says TI in its report: “With the lowest score on the CPI, Somalia is not only one of the world’s most corrupt countries, but it is also, “one of the world’s most protracted cases of statelessness” according to the 2016 Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index. State fragility and poor rule of law have left gaping holes for graft to flourish from petty bribery to high-level political corruption.”
The report highlights Angola as a country to watch in 2020, as its fight against corruption appears to be bearing fruit.
Reads the report: “Following four decades of authoritarian rule, Angola (26) jumped seven points in this year’s CPI, making it a significant improver. However, given its overall low score, the country is still well below the global average of 43.
“Isabel Dos Santos, the former president’s daughter, who is also known as “Africa’s richest woman”, was fired from her job as head of the state oil and gas firm, Sonangol, months after President Lourenço’s election. In December 2019, as investigations into corruption allegations progressed, an Angolan court ordered a freeze of Dos Santos’s assets.
“Although the country has recovered US$5 billion in stolen assets, more needs to be done to strengthen integrity and promote transparency in accounting for oil revenue.”
In the case of Kenya, the report noted that authorities have failed to regulate funds used in campaigns despite enacting the Election Campaign Financing Act in 2013.
The report noted that the Kenyan Parliament “has deferred the implementation of the legislation to the 2022 election further crippling the ability of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to monitor and regulate money used in campaigns. This has made elections in Kenya among the most expensive polls in Africa, a trend that should be urgently reversed.”
“Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chairperson of Transparency International.
It is not all doom and gloom however the report projects citing a recent directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta on conflict of interest.
According to the report, only 22 countries have improved their CPI scores over the past 8 years among them Greece, Guyana and Estonia.
In the same period, 21 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Canada, Australia and Nicaragua.
While the average regional score was the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa at 32 percent, this is below half of the 66 percent in western Europe, the region with the highest average score.
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