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‘Corruption worsens’

By Rebecca Chimjeka:

The overall bribery rate in Malawi has risen from 13 percent in 2015 to 28 percent in 2019, the 10th edition of Global Corruption Barometer (GBC)-Africa report says.

Afrobarometer implemented GBC report in collaboration with Transparency International after gauging public and experts perceptions. GBC is the largest, most detailed public opinion survey of citizens.

The report has also revealed that the rate of corruption increased in public schools from 12 percent in 2015 to 57 percent in 2019 but the rate decreased in Malawi Police Service.

“Corruption has decreased in Malawi Police Service (MPS) from 28 percent in 2015 to 22 percent in 2019 while corruption on National IDs has increased from three percent in 2015 to 28 percent in 2019,” the report reads.

The study shows that, at the presidency level, people think corruption has increased from 43 to 47 percent.

The report adds that the rate of corruption among members of Parliament increased from 27 to 43 percent.

Perception in the same period, among government officials, was that corruption rose from 35 to 44 percent while among Local Government officials it is at 42 percent.

As for legislators, the perception is that the rate has increased from 39 to 54 percent.

According to the report, corruption among judges and magistrates is perceived to have increased from 22 percent to 41 percent while among religious leaders it is from 15 percent to 22 percent.

On the other hand, corruption among non-governmental organisations is rated at 34 percent.

Corruption among business executives is now at 47 percent, up from 35 percent, and cases have jumped from 30 to 42 percent among traditional leaders.

“Most of the people, who were interviewed, think corruption is getting worse in their countries,” reads the report.

The report surveyed 47,000 citizens in 35 countries.

The report further says more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their country while 59 percent think their governments are doing badly in tackling corruption.

However, Information Minister, Mark Botomani, Thursday insisted that the President Peter Mutharika-led administration was doing its best to fight corruption.

“Government has not seen the report but what we can say is that APM has waged war on corruption and he has vowed never to shield anyone involved in corruption,” Botomani said.

Associate law professor at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Ngeyi Kanyongoro, said the country could win the fight against corruption through increased transparency in how public entities operate.

“There is a need for law enforcement agencies, including ACB [Anti- Corruption Bureau], to actively enforce the law, including serious investigation and prosecution of cases and also if courts worked with speed and where one is found guilty, the punishment is fair and swift” Kanyongolo said.

ACB Director Reyneck Matemba said he would comment on the report later.

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