10 July, 2013

Rwanda still least corrupt country in Africa

Transparency International has ranked Rwanda the least corrupt country on the African continent.

According to a report dubbed ‘The Global Corruption Barometer’ (TI GCB 2013), countries  were put in clusters depending on the prevalence of corruption. Rwanda is in the group whose  corruption incidence ranges between 10 and 14.9 per cent.
The report was released yesterday.

Rwanda’s bribery rate was put at 13 per cent.

No other African country appeared in this category. Sudan and Tunisia follow as the second least corrupt countries (between 15-19.9 per cent), while Madagascar is in the next category (20-29 per cent).
Rwanda stood out among East African partner states, most of them falling within the range of 50-74.9 per cent.

The corruption trends in East Africa show that Rwanda is the least bribery-prone country in the region with an aggregate index of 2.5 per  cent.

Rwanda’s EAC partners Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda fall within the 50-74.9 per cent category. Globally, Rwanda is outside the two top categories (under 5 and 5.9.9 per cent) and is ranked 13th least corrupt country worldwide.

As far as institutions in individual countries are concerned, the East African region has the highest bribery rate in police, the report says.

In Rwanda, the police and Judiciary were on top at 2.1 and 2.0 scores out of 5 respectively.

The main motive that was given by the respondents for paying a bribe in the region, Rwanda inclusive, was “to speed things up.”

Thus, Paul Banoba, the regional coordinator, Transparency International for East and the Horn of Africa, cautioned; “this shows clearly that our countries have delays in service delivery; if we need to change corruption trends, we should take it into consideration.”

In other circumstances, it was proved that people give bribe as the only way to get a service or to get a cheaper service.

In some cases, bribes were given in the name of expression of gratitude.

Why Rwanda is leading

The GCB for 2012 and first quarter of 2013 is a survey on 114,000 people in 107 countries and it shows that corruption is widespread.

However, in the Rwandan context, there was a significant decline, despite the fact that the country’s corruption index has for years been comparatively low.

Almost all the respondents relate the decline to the political will, aided by the zeal by the Rwandan citizens to uproot the vice.

This political will is reflected on the government effectiveness which is the highest in Sub Saharan Africa, rated at 95 per cent, officials said.

At the release of the report yesterday, the Minister of Local Government James Musoni, attributed the decrease of corruption in the country to different mechanisms in place.

“We have a transparent, accountable and good governance system beside institutions and committees fighting corruption at different levels,” he said.

Among the institutions, he cited were Office of the Ombudsman, the anti-corruption committees and councils at all levels, among others.

Musoni, however, said, the country’s efforts to achieve zero corruption can never succeed without full participation of the citizens, and thus adding the government has always brought them on board.

The Executive Director of TI-Rwanda, Apollinaire Mupiganyi backed the minister, saying that without the citizens on board, bribery cannot be eliminated, or successfully fought in which ever form.

Police cleaning their closet

But the participants were worried that in Rwanda, police and judiciary are the most corrupt, yet they are supposed to be at the forefront of the fight against corruption.

Mupiganyi responded that “the more interaction between the service provider and the client the more temptations to bribery; but there is a hope that it will keep decreasing since people still have trust in these institutions, which is very crucial”.

According to Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana, Minister of Internal Security, “the fight against corruption in police is ongoing”.

In a separate interview, he told The New Times, that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Office of Ombudsman to exchange information on corruption in the force.

“When a policeman is suspected and there is clear evidence of them taking a bribe, they are suspended even before court procedures,” he said.

Over the last year, Harelimana said 40 police personnel were dismissed over corruption-related offenses.

The minister added that corruption was most reported in traffic police and at the vehicle technical control centre, but these sections have been restructured and staff empowered to fight the vice.

All the continents, except Africa, are represented in the least corrupt countries in the world with less than 5 per cent bribery rate.

This bracket includes Australia, South Korea, Malaysia, Norway,  Japan, Belgium, Maldives, Portugal, Uruguay, New Zealand, Spain, Georgia and Finland.

The United States and United Kingdom are in the second category of the least corrupt, within the 5-9.9 per cent category.

The two most corrupt countries in the world, the report says, are Liberia and Sierra Leone. The two are the only countries with corruption incidence above 75 per cent.

Source: The New Times 
Reference: Transparency Intenational

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