Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption drive this week suffered a big blow after the southern African nation dropped three places to position 160 out 180 rated on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
According to the latest CPI for 2018 which was released this week, Zimbabwe remains on the tail-end of tackling corruption despite renewed government efforts to fight graft both in the public and private sectors.
The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. More than two-thirds of countries, according to the report scored below 50 on this year’s index, with an average of just 43. Zimbabwe scored 22.
“Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Transparency International chairperson.
The Transparency International report was released two days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa criticised Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi for the lethargic pace in dealing with corruption cases. “The Minister of Justice, who also chair the inter-ministerial
taskforce in Parliament is relaxing; don’t relax,” Mnangagwa said.
“I am disappointed that corruption cases are not moving. I implore all those who play a mammoth role in dealing with corruption cases to remain steadfast and deal with the cases.”
This report also comes at a time the Zimbabwe National Road Administration has been rocked by a series of scandals that prejudiced the state-owned agency of millions of dollars. Several officials have since been brought before the courts in connection with the graft cases.
Two years ago the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)’s Zimbabwe Corruption in Business Survey revealed that the police and the then State Procurement Board were the most corrupt institutions in the country while the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority also made it to the hall of shame as the third most corrupt.
First launched in 1995, the corruption perceptions index has been widely credited with putting the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda.
The global watchdog has over the years ranked Zimbabwe among the most corrupt countries.