Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) has expressed disappointment over the country moving only two places upwards to be ranked 158th out of 180 countries in the newly-released Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019.
BY LORRAINE MUROMO
Zimbabwe moved only two points upwards to a score of 24 from a 2018 comparative of 22. In the 2018 CPI, Zimbabwe was ranked 160th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s perceptions index.
The CPI ranks countries on a score of zero to 100 with the latter extreme signaling cleanliness and the former highest level of corruption.
“While many might be quick to celebrate this, as TIZ we are not. The score is still below the regional average of 32. More needs to be done and can be done. Grand corruption or corruption cases involving politically-exposed persons need to be prosecuted to finality,” TIZ executive director Muchaneta Mundopa, said in a statement yesterday.
“The catch and release phenomena that continues to discredit the effectiveness and efficiency of State anti-corruption bodies must be dealt with seriously. It hampers the public’s confidence in these institutions and opens doors for the citizens to question whether (or not) there is political will to fight corruption in Zimbabwe.”
She added: “We need to take asset recovery seriously. Engaging in corruption must be made expensive for perpetrators and would-be perpetrators.”
Mudopa appealed to all stakeholders involved in the fight against corruption to fully cooperate so that asset recovery would be vigorously made for the betterment of the country.
Corruption in the country, largely believed to be perpetrated by members of the ruling Zanu PF party, as well as government officials is estimated to cost the economy US$1 billion annually.
One of the most common areas where corruption takes place is in government expenditure which the Auditor-General’s office continues to highlight through adverse reports.
These reports have also revealed how government has been failing to account for billions of allocated funds during any given financial year.
“The way public revenue is spent within any country has an impact on the quality of public service delivery. Corruption is not a victimless crime, its victims are the vulnerable groups in society and women and the youth constitute a large portion of that percentage,” Mundopa said.
The CPI gives an overview of how businesspeople and experts perceive corruption in the public sector and this index has a direct bearing on foreign direct investments.