WASHINGTON DC —
A report released in Dakar, Senegal, on Wednesday by Afrobarometer shows that corruption is on the rise in most African countries, with Zimbabwe rated as the third most corrupt country in Africa at 81 percent, behind joint leaders Nigeria and Egypt at 82 percent.
Afrobarometer interviewed more than 51,000 people in surveys between October 2011 and June this year. Fifty-six percent of the people interviewed said their governments have done a “fairly” or “very bad” job fighting corruption, while just 35 percent said their governments have done “fairly” or “very well”.
Corruption in Zimbabwe increased by 43 percent between 2002 and 2012, according to Afrobarometer. "The highest negative ratings are given by people from Nigeria, Egypt and Zimbabwe whilst the lowest negative ratings are given by people from Malawi, Lesotho and Botswana."
The report says across the 34 countries, perceptions of corruption are highest for the police, followed by government officials and tax officials. Officials in the office of the presidency are perceived to be the least corrupt.
The Afrobarometer surveys also found that almost 1 in 5 people (16%) have
paid a bribe one or more times to a government official in the past year in order to get an official document or permit.
"Paying a bribe to get medical treatment as well as avoid a problem with the police were the other two most cited reasons. Nearly one in three Africans (30%) has paid a bribe at least once in the past year."
At the same time, the organization said corruption also appears to be bad for democracy. "People who perceive higher levels of corruption within their state institutions, as well as those who have had to engage in petty corruption, are more likely to be “not at all” or “not very” satisfied with the way democracy works in their countries"
Afrobarometer project manager, Anyway Chingwete, said they managed to carry out their surveys in 34 out of Africa’s 54 countries because some were not easily accessible.
"We were targeting respondents aged 18 and above and also what we did was to make sure that we balance in terms of gender, so 50 percent were males and 50 percent were females," said Chingwete.