- Title: Zimbabwe losing $1 billion a year to corruption: report
- Date: 6th October 2016
- Summary: HARARE, ZIMBABWE (FILE) (REUTERS) STREET SCENES PEDESTRIANS
- Embargoed: 21st October 2016 14:56
- Keywords: Corruption Report Traansparency International Police Money Government Officials
- Location: HARARE, ZIMBABWE
- City: HARARE, ZIMBABWE
- Country: Zimbabwe
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00152VA8GN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Every year, Zimbabwe loses about 1 billion US dollars in revenue mostly because of government officials who engage in corruption according to a report released by Transparency International.
Corruption mainly consists of public officials demanding bribes for basic services in the country like installing an electricity meter or approving a house plan to facilitating investment.
The report released on Tuesday (October 05) indicates that the resulting institutionalization and systematization of corruption in Zimbabwean political and economic spheres has been extensive.
Social media groups like #ThisFlag and #Tajamuka have cited corruption in President Robert Mugabe's government and police roadblocks where money is taken from motorists as among the main reasons for protests that have rocked the southern African nation in the last few months, against the rule of 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
Mary Jane Ncube is the executive director at Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ).
"The idea behind it is to quantify and qualitatively analyse the causes of corruption in our society as Zimbabweans and hopefully also offer recommendations of how to tackle corruption as it affects different members of society and different sectors of society. So this particular one, was looking at the political economy of corruption and its impact on society," she said.
TIZ said the police, local councils, the vehicle inspection department that issues driving licenses and the education department were among the most corrupt institutions.
Critics and the opposition accuse Mugabe of failing to tackle high-level graft and say endemic corruption is one reason foreign companies are hesitant to invest in the country.
Mugabe has at times admitted to corruption among his cabinet ministers but says police lack the evidence to prosecute.
Zimbabwe was last year ranked 150th out of 168 countries on the Transparency International index, which measures public perceptions of corruption in public institutions.
"What this study shows and what other studies show is that Zimbabwe is facing a real problem with corruption. They talk about it being systemic, endemic and I said in my opening remarks that the report also goes as far as saying that it's been the way of doing business that business people will count the cost of corruption into their calculations which is a real problem obviously," said Maria Serlin an official at the Swedish embassy.
"Corruption is not necessarily perpetuated by government or civil servants but it's across the board, private sector is involved in corruption, opposition are also involved in corruption in fact there was a surge in corruption during the unity government and so it is wrong to try and apportion that to a specific political party," said Daniel Shumba, a member of parliament from the ruling ZANU PF party.
Zimbabwe's tax authority in May suspended its head and five managers in connection with the purchase of luxury cars that were undervalued by a local dealer, one of few high-ranking graft cases to be made public in recent years.
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