16 December 2012

Uganda: Corruption, Bribery Levels Soar

Impact of corruption on communities worries activists

Uganda is the only country that is perceived to have become more corrupt in East Africa according to the latest Corruption Perceptions Index 2012. The report shows that in the last two years, Uganda has slipped from 127 in 2010 to 130 in 2012, though all her regional counterparts - Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania improved their rankings over the same period.

Kenya improved by 15 places between 2010 and 2012, Rwanda by 16, Burundi by five while Tanzania improved its ranking by 14 places. In the 50th position, Rwanda is ranked as the country with the lowest perception index in the region. The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem. The report says corruption is a "major threat" facing humanity as it destroys lives and communities, and undermines countries and institutions. "It generates popular anger that threatens to further destabilize societies and exacerbate violent conflicts," it warns.

It indicates that governments must fight corruption as it translates into human suffering, with poor families being extorted for bribes to see doctors or to get access to clean drinking water. As such it leads to failure in the delivery of basic services like education or healthcare. It derails the building of essential infrastructure, as corrupt leaders skim funds. "Corruption amounts to a dirty tax, and the poor and most vulnerable are its primary victims," it says.

It adds that governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all aspects of decision-making. In August, the East African Bribery Index 2012, a regional survey by Transparency International, also showed that Uganda is the country with the highest levels of bribery in East Africa. The survey revealed that, at 40.7%, Uganda has the highest bribery levels in the region, followed by Tanzania (39.1%), Kenya (29.5%), Burundi (18.8%) and Rwanda (2.5%).

CPI performance of EAC since 2002

Uganda Kenya Rwanda Burundi Tanzania

2002 93 96 _ _ 71

2005 117 144 83 _ 88

2008 126 147 102 _ 102

2009 130 146 168 126

2010 127 154 66 170 116

2011 143 154 49 172 100

2012 130 139 50 165 102

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