Zambia Police Service and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) are leading public institutions in corruption, the latest Zambia Bribe Payers Index (ZBPI) has revealed.
The 2012 Index report which was released in Lusaka yesterday by Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) and the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) ranks the two institutions in first and second places on the 16-log index which has the Patent and Companies Registration Office (PACRA) being the least institution involving bribery cases.
Public institutions that followed were the Ministry of Health, the National Registration Office, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Zambia Revenue Authority, ZESCO, the judiciary (courts), passport office and local authorities.
Others were the Ministry of Education, the Immigration Department, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Communication, Works, Transport and Supply, ZAMTEL and PACRA in the tail.
A summary of the findings revealed that the overall aggregate bribery score had reduced from 14 per cent in 2009 to 9.8 per cent in 2012.
TIZ president, Lee Habasonda said while it was disappointing that the police still ranked number one as the most corrupt institution, it was gratifying to note that they were the most improved in terms of reduction of bribery in the institution.
Mr Habasonda said it was disappointing to note that the RTSA had moved up the ladder in terms of corruption to rank second among the most corrupt institutions.
In 2009 RTSA was ranked fourth, the Ministry of Health was ranked sixth while the National Registration was ranked second, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources was third.
Mr Habasonda said the results indicated that there was still a lot of work to be done to fight corruption in particular bribery.
“We have however noted that the more an institution relates or has an interface with the general public, the more likely they are to be reported as corrupt and while this is acknowledged, these indicators, as contained in the 2012 ZBPI, are a source of concern,” he said.
He said public institutions were supposed to be institutions of integrity and probity adding that the report should not be seen as a vilification of any of the public institutions but as an opportunity for all institutions that were cited in the report to conduct an introspection and improve.
The report also made a comparison between President Michael Sata’s government in the fight against corruption with that of late President Levy Mwanawasa, in which it stated that the current government exhibited less seriousness but that there was room for improvement.
But compared to former President Rupiah Banda’s administration, the PF government was performing better.
“We implore the PF government to take this report with humility, good faith and goodwill for the betterment of their own record as a government in the fight against corruption. This government has a unique opportunity to make a difference in the fight against corruption. They are the party in power and thus have an opportunity to make a difference by setting the tone and raising the integrity bar through not only word but deed as well,” he said.
Secretary to the Cabinet, Rowland Msiska in a speech read for him by Permanent Secretary for administration, Anna Mwewa, said the information generated from the survey was helpful in understanding the supply side of corruption unlike other perception indices which concentrated on the demand side.
“The findings in this report also indirectly reflect some achievements as well as challenges that need urgent solutions in our continued service delivery reforms, therefore the importance of such survey reports cannot be over emphasised and this government will do everything to support initiatives such as this,” Dr Msiska said.
He commended the ACC and TIZ for exhibiting a public-private partnership for a common purpose and that this should be encouraged as an indirect way of promoting transparency and accountability.
ACC vice chairperson, Steven Moyo hailed the partnership between ACC and TIZ and was hopeful that such a relationship would be extended to other stakeholders and become appropriately institutionalised as part of business relationship between ACC and others involved in the corruption fight.