Transparency International Rwanda (TI-Rw) yesterday confirmed that the country is affected by modest levels of bribery and that the situation has improved.
According to Rwanda's Bribery Index 2012 (RBI) launched yesterday, most Rwandans believe that the country is only slightly corrupt, less corrupt than last year and will be less corrupt next year. An overwhelming majority appreciates government efforts.
Of the 2,401 respondents interviewed by TI-Rw in its research, 12 per cent have encountered corrupt practices and 9.7 per cent were demanded a bribe (slight improvements from 2011: 10 per cent). The likelihood of bribery demand is at 1.17 per cent and its prevalence at 0.44 per cent. The most at risk are men, relatively young (younger than 45) and living in urban areas. The average bribe paid stands at Rwf 14,273 (the respondents' monthly income stands between Rwf 15,000 and Rwf 45,000) and has decreased from Rwf 19,884 in 2011.
Institutions most at risk are police and the education sector. About 33.5 per cent of the bribes were paid to the police with 5 per cent to traffic police and 22.4 per cent paid to banks. In the education sector, vocation training has 4 per cent of the total bribes paid.
"The alerting issues in all this is that we found out that, there is a low reporting, where 82.6 per cent of our respondents had not reported corruption cases (bribery) due to the fact that (they confessed) they knew no action will be taken even after reporting it. Indeed many who reported saw no action taken," said Albert Rwego Kavatiri, the program manager at TI-Rw while presenting the findings.
He then recommended that all the partners in the fight against corruption should build on a momentum and ensure all government institutions follow good governance principles and procedures.
"Public and private sector and Civil society organizations should strengthen their governance (code of conduct, enhance transparency), and we have to raise awareness on corruption in institutions at risk," he added.
Kavatiri stressed that victims should be encouraged to resist demand and report bribery.
"We should make sure that reporting mechanisms are accessible, confidential and ensure appropriate follow up of the cases," Kavatiri said.
According to Prof Anastase Shyaka, the CEO off Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) the RBI 2012 is an evidence generation which addresses the challenges and stimulates appropriate measures in the fight against corruption.
"This report comes at an ultimate time where Rwanda is in the against-corruption week. These locally generated data to show us how serious our fight is," said Prof. Shyaka.
He added that the data presented in the RB 2012, shows that efforts to the fight against corruption must be doubled. "We want to create a corruption free society as soon as 2020."
For Paul Banoba, the senior regional coordinator of Transparency International, findings from researches like RBI -2012 are a great occasion to make sure that bribery doesn't undermine the country (region)'s opportunity for development.