Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Survey: Dar police is EAC’s most corrupt

“There’s nothing new with the report … that the Force is most corrupt public outfit has been reported in past surveys such as National Governance and Corruption Survey last year,” Dr Edward Hosea, PCCB Director PHOTO|FILE  
By  Bernard Lugongo The Citizen Reporter

Posted  Tuesday, October 29  2013 at  00:00
In Summary
“Bribery remains a key challenge for Tanzania when people seek public service” Mr Bubelwa Kaiza, the executive director of Fordia,

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania police force is the most corrupt entity among graft-ridden sectors in East African Community member states, according to a new report.
The police forces across the EAC region took the first five positions as the most bribery prone public outfits, with Tanzania’s law enforcers scoring 72.9 per cent in bribery aggregation followed by Kenya (70.7 per cent), Burundi (64 per cent), Uganda (60 per cent) and Rwanda (54 per cent), according to East Africa Bribery Index (EABI) 2013 released yesterday in Dar es Salaam. The survey, conducted by Transparency International (TI) in collaboration with an NGO called Fordia in carrying out the study in Tanzania, concludes that the Police Force, the Judiciary and the tax collectors took the overall top positions as the most bribery prone.
The police also scored 72.9 per cent as most corrupt in the list of Top Ten most corrupt sectors within the country, followed by Judiciary (38.3 per cent), tax services (36.9 per cent), Others (31.3 per cent), Land Services (26.9 per cent).
However, the police spokesperson, Ms Advera Senso, reacted that though she was not aware of the methodology used in the survey, it was not right to judge a whole institution as there might be some unethical individuals like in other institutions who engage in such misconducts.
She said the survey could also ask whether the people were aware of the laws in which police operate.
“This is because in many cases, for instance, when people see a suspect released in short hours after being arrested they conclude that the police have taken bribes, without knowing that there are some cases that a suspect can be released on bail even immediately,” she said.
But, director of Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Dr Edward Hosea, said he found nothing new with the report since the concern that the Police Force is the most corrupt public outfit has been reported in past surveys such as the National Governance and Corruption Survey last year.
Others in the list are medical services (22.0 per cent), registry and licensing services (21.6 per cent), utilities (water & electricity) (15.4 per cent), city & local councils (15.1 per cent), educational institutions (12.5 per cent).
“Bribery remains a key challenge for Tanzania when people seek public service” Mr Bubelwa Kaiza, the executive director of Fordia, said.
Mr Kaiza said the inclusion of the judiciary, police and the tax collectors in Tanzania as amongst the Top Ten in the corruption league and a similar ranking of peer institutions in the other countries was particularly disturbing.
“Law enforcement and the justice system are very key institutions in this country and region, we should not let bribery compromise on this”, he noted. The survey established that the highest average size of bribe in Tanzania was paid in the tax services sector at Sh137,767.76 (about $8713).
The police, though leading in other categories had a low ranking in the average size of bribe category (about Sh57,000)

However, on average across all bribery affected sectors in EAC, Tanzania has improved by one rank, from second last year to third position this year in the EABI.
Burundi worsened by moving two spots up to take position two with an aggregate of 18.6 per cent as compared to the results last year.
The aggregate likelihood of bribery was highest in Uganda where a citizen seeking state services encounters the highest likelihood of bribery at 26.8 per cent.
That was the same position held last year but with a higher aggregate. Tanzania (12.9 per cent) came in at third while Kenya was fourth (7.9 per cent) with each moving down a spot, again with relatively lower aggregates.
Rwanda remains at position five but was the only country in the region that had an increased aggregate, 4.4 per cent, up from 2.5 per cent in 2012.
The survey noted that in terms of offering to pay a bribe on their own volition, Tanzanians come second at 11 per cent after Burundians (13 per cent).
The EABI 2013 survey was conducted in the five EAC countries between April and July 2013 at the household level. The respondents were picked through simple random sampling based on population sizes across the various political administrative areas in each country.
Data was collected through face to face interviews and recorded bribery experiences from 10,491 respondents, Tanzanians being 2,445.
Majority of respondents in Tanzania and Kenya said they paid bribes to hasten up service, those in Burundi said they paid bribes because it was expected.
In Rwanda, most of the respondents said they paid bribes to access a service one did not deserve, and in Uganda, majority of the interviewees admitted to paying bribes because it was the only way to access service.
Across the region, reporting of bribery cases was generally low, with only about 10 per cent of respondents who encountered bribery reported. The majority said they did not report because they knew no action would be taken against the culprits.
The report says even with investments the Tanzania government has put into the PCCB, citizens do not seem to trust it to report bribery.

But, Mr Hosea responded that the statement was not right since there were many cases in courts over reported corruption.
“If there are people who don’t report it’s their problem, but others report and we take action,” he said.