Tanzania`s ranking in the East African Bribery Index (EABI) 2011 climbed to third position from fourth, indicating that corruption was becoming more prevalent in the country and needed extra effort to weed out.
Speaking before the EABI launch in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Executive Director of ForDIA, Bubelwa Kaiza, said corruption prevalence worsened, rising from 28.6percent in 2010 to 31.6 percent in 2011.
A total of 3,522 respondents selected through random households in Tanzania were interviewed from February to May this year.
Other countries and respondents in brackets are Kenya (2,943), Uganda (2,733) Rwanda (2,325) and Burundi (1,401) making a total of 12,924 in the region.
He said Burundi retained the first position with a corruption prevalence level of 37.9 percent from 36.7 in 2010, while Uganda and Kenya have been ranked second and fourth respectively.
According to the report Uganda has moved marginally up while Kenya has shown a marked improvement from 31.9 percent in 2010 to 28.8 percent in 2011. Rwanda once again ranked fifth with a bribery prevalence of 5.1 percent down from 6.6 percent.
However the EABI 2011 index score reveals that there is some level of improvement in certain institutions and deterioration in others in the scores and ranking.
The police have maintained the most unfavourable position while the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has improved slightly in ranking and significantly in the score. The local authorities and
Immigration departments have deteriorated in the overall index, rising to third and sixth from 14th and 17th place respectively in the previous year.
The police revenue authorities and the judiciary across the different countries were poorly rated. All the police institutions in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi appeared in the list of the ten most bribery prone institutions in East Africa.
Uganda police lead the pack of the most bribery prone institutions in the region, followed by the Burundi police, customs revenue authority, Kenya police and Uganda revenue in that order.
He said the police and judiciary were the only Tanzanian institutions ranked among the top ten worst institutions in East Africa.
For the second year running the survey did not record bribery reports to formulate an index for Rwanda. The bribery reports recorded for most of the institutions were statistically insignificant to form a reliable basis for ranking.
However, the report said reporting of corruption cases was low in all the five countries. With only 3.2 percent, Burundi recorded the lowest number of people forwarding corruption complaints. Only 7.1 percent of the respondents in Kenya reported incidents of corruption compared to 10.8 percent last year and 9.9 percent and 6.9 percent forwarded corruption complaints in Uganda and Tanzania respectively.
On perception, he said Rwanda retained the most positive outlook. Only 2.4 percent of Rwandan respondents described the country as extremely corrupt compared to 36.8 percent in Tanzania, 44 percent in Kenya, 52.3 percent in Uganda and 53.1 percent in Burundi.
According to the report the survey also analysed bribery payments in the water, education and health sectors according to gender. In Tanzania there were higher instances of women being asked for bribes or expectations in the water and education sectors at 11.3percent and 36 percent respectively.
Launching the report the former foreign Minister Ibrahim Kaduma, challenged stakeholders including the government to find a technological way of enabling public business to be transacted electronically rather than through physical contacts of individuals.
“We take a cue from visa issuance procedures of a number of developed countries the bulk of whose applications and processing is done electronically. Individuals meet only when the visa is issued, he said.
“Is it really beyond our brains to devise a system that will accomplish the same even in selecting contractors and negotiating the contracts so that people meet only to sign them?” he asked.
He challenged stakeholders to take heed of Mwalimu Nyerere’s advice that they sit down and agree on an East African Code of Ethics which shall govern their nationhood as East Africans.
Those should be principles which shall be used in determining the development and governance policies to build really independent, united and respectable East Africa worth of being evaluated by other regions.
For his part, Deus Ngeregeze from Consumer Association of Burundi, urged East African countries to increase their efforts in reducing corruption.
He said if left unattended such practices will retard social and economic development of poor people.
He urged the institutions named in the report to respond to the issues raised in order to help in the fight against corruption.
EABI is a governance tool developed to measure bribery levels in the private and public sectors in the region.