THE Zambia Police Service traffic section is still ranked the most corrupt institution in the country, the 2019 Global Corruption Barometer- Africa report has stated. The 2014 Zambia Bribe Payers Index (ZBPI) rated traffic police officers as the most corrupt while those under the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) were ranked second.
The index showed that the bribe demand among supervisor and junior staff categories in the public service increased by 6.7 percent in 2014 from 4.7 percent in 2012. And Transparency International Zambia president Reuben Lifuka said corruption among traffic police officers has increased from 51 percent in 2015 to 54 percent this year.
Mr Lifuka attributed the increase to lack of knowledge by most traffic offenders on how and where to pay fines imposed on traffic offences. He said alleged threats by officers prompt offenders to bribe them. Mr Lifuka said this yesterday during the launch of the 10th edition of the Global Corruption Barometer – Africa, released on the African Anti-Corruption Day by Transparency International in partnership with Afrobarometer. He said the fight against corruption is everyone’s responsibility. “According to the report, 66 percent of Zambians think corruption has increased in the previous 12 months while 18 percent of public service users paid a bribe during the same period.
The report states that based on people who used public services, overall bribery rate rose from 17 percent last year to 18 this year. In public schools, the bribes reduced from 12 percent to 10 percent. In public clinics and health centres, the bribery rate has remained the same at four percent between 2015 and this year while at the police, it stood at 27 percent from 23 percent in 2015.
And Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) deputy director general Rosemary Khuzwayo said corruption undermines transparency and accountability in the management of public resources. Ms Khuzwayo said the negative effects of corruption on socialeconomic well-being of African people cannot be over-emphasised. “ACC is more than cognisant of the importance of asset recovery as it makes available resources which would otherwise have gone into private pockets,” she said. The 2019 Global Corruption Barometer- Africa report further reveals that more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their countries.
Fifty-nine percent of people think their governments are performing poorly in tackling corruption. The survey asked 47,000 citizens in 35 countries about their perceptions of corruption and direct experiences of bribery. The results show that more than one in four people (about 130 million people) who accessed public services, such as health care and education, paid a bribe in the previous year.
The report also highlights that corruption disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, with the poorest paying bribes twice as often as the richest. The police are considered the most corrupt institution, with 47 percent of people believing that most or all police officers are corrupt. Many citizens also think that government officials and parliamentarians are highly corrupt, at 39 percent and 36 percent respectively.