The New Times (Kigali)

East Africa: Nation Maintains Lead in Fighting Graft in EAC

RWANDA has maintained its record in fighting corruption among the five countries in the EAC region, according to a latest report by Transparency International.

A sample of 9,303 respondents was picked randomly across the region for the survey.

The East African Bribery Index 2012 launched yesterday in Kampala ranks Burundi was the second least corrupt, Kenya in the third, while Tanzania and Uganda took the fourth and fifth positions respectively.

Rwanda remained the least bribery-prone country in the region with an aggregate index of 2.5%, Burundi; the worst ranked country last year recorded a significantly lower index of 18.8%.

Kenya and Tanzania were 29.5% and 39.1% respectively while Uganda registered the highest bribery levels in the region with a percentage value of 40.7%.

"When asked whether they thought that the government was doing enough to fight corruption, the majority of the respondents replied in the affirmative," the report obtained by The New Times read in part.

"Majority of them cited the government's policy of zero tolerance on corruption and efforts to sensitize the public about corruption as the reason for the positive review".

The police in Rwanda was ranked overall as the worst performing institution followed closely by banks and provincial administration.

While the Police are seen to be the worst performing in their country, their East African counterparts all performed worse.

"It is evident that unlike the other EAC partner states, institutions in Rwanda are fully functional and working very well. The issue of follow up on cases is taken seriously," said Moses Karatunga, from Transparency International-Uganda.

The judiciary was among the best performing institutions in Rwanda a feat not accomplished elsewhere in the East Africa region.

All the sectors surveyed reported consistently low on bribery tendencies in Rwanda. Key public sectors surveyed include; medical services, education, water, judiciary, the police and civil registration.

Rwanda also registered the best future outlook with 80.1% observing that corruption levels will decrease in the next one year.

Track record

In October last year, Rwanda was ranked the fourth least corrupt African country by the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project.

The country scored 70.8 percent, behind Mauritius with 73.2 percent, Cape Verde with 74.6 percent and Botswana which is the least corrupt African country with a score of 79.9percent.

In June this year, Rwanda emerged the least corrupt nation in East Africa and the Great Lakes Region according to a Corruption Perception Index 2009 released by Transparency International (TI).

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