More than half of all those who deal with public service providers are forced to pay bribes, according to a forthcoming survey of eight East African countries by Transparency International and its East African chapters.
Citizens reportedly pay bribes more often to the police than to other public services, followed by the judiciary.
“Too many people are forced to pay bribes for basic services and often those who can ill-afford it. The bottom line is clear: corruption affects the lives of too many people in East Africa. People want change and governments must tackle corruption now,” said Chantal Uwimana, Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East at Transparency International.
The report surveyed 8,000 people between 2010 and 2011 in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Of these, 54 per cent reported paying a bribe to one of nine public services in the past 12 months and 55 per cent said corruption has worsened over the past three years. In six out of eight countries, the police are seen as the most corruption institution.
The survey asked questions concerning the following nine pubic services: police, judiciary, customs, registry and permit services, land services, medical services, tax revenues, utilities and education.
“Corruption affects vulnerable groups disproportionally so these findings are particularly worrying in a region where poverty is widespread” said Ingabire Marie Immaculée, Chair of Transparency Rwanda.
Other key results showed:
- Most bribes are paid to speed up services
- Men pay more bribes than women: 57 per cent of men compared to 51 per cent of women
- Nearly half, 48 per cent, of all lower income earners pay bribes for public services and 63 per cent of upper income earners
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.
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