MZUZU—The majority of Malawians have to pay a bribe to get services provided by government with the country's police viewed as the most corrupt, according to Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) which has just published its findings in Daily Lives and Corruption, and Public Opinion in Southern Africa
The extra money paid to government employees goes directly into their pockets yet the people are entitled to the services as the government collects taxes for it provide those services.
TI, which surveyed 1, 000 people in Malawi, said more than half – 58 percent - of the country’s 13 million people reported paying a bribe.
Of those asked, 67.9 percent felt police were most corrupt; it’s a ranking that places Malawi second, at 57 percent, among six southern African countries which were surveyed.
Police in Malawi were followed by political parties at 49.4 percent. Next was the country’s education system at 36.5 percent while parliament stood at 33.9 percent and the judiciary at 32.3 percent. Thirty-two (32) percent of respondents felt the private sector was corrupt while the media got 22.1 percent, NGOs 19.6 percent, the military 15.8 percent and religious institutions 9.8 percent.
TI said there was a perception in the southern African region that corruption had increased.
“This perception was most frequent in the DRC, with 75 per cent of people believing that corruption had increased, while just 8 per cent felt that corruption had decreased. In Malawi and Zimbabwe, fewer people reported a perceived increase in corruption, but even in these countries slightly more than a half of the respondents reported that corruption had increased,” the anti-corruption organisation said.
“In Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia, more than a half the reported bribes paid were to speed up processes, and about one in five were paid to avoid problems with the authorities.
“In contrast, more than two in every three South Africans reported paying the last bribe to avoid such problems. People in Zimbabwe had the highest likelihood of paying a bribe for services they were entitled to, with more than a quarter of respondents citing this reason.”
While concerns about corruption were raised, Malawians were optimistic.
“People in Malawi were much more confident in government efforts to fight corruption, with more than 50 per cent reporting that they believe the government to be effective. In contrast, people in Zimbabwe were least satisfied with their government’s efforts, with almost 60 per cent reporting that they believe their government to be ineffective,” reads the report.
Malawi’s Anti Corruption Bureau said they needed more time to digest the information before they could respond.
TI conducted the survey between 2010 and 2011. The survey used a sample of 6, 000 people.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment