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News release

Zambians see corruption declining, especially among elected leaders; still rank police as most corrupt

25 Apr 2023 Zambia
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News release
Key findings
  • More than half (53%) of Zambians say levels of corruption have decreased over the past year, up from 8% in 2020 (Figure 1).
  • Two in 10 (19%) say corruption has increased, down from 71% in 2020, while 23% say it has remained unchanged.
  • Among key institutions and leaders, the police are most widely perceived as corrupt: 54% of Zambians say “most” or “all” police officials are involved in corruption, twice as many as see widespread corruption among business executives (27%), judges and magistrates (26%), and civil servants (25%) (Figure 2).
  • The proportion of Zambians who say that “most” or “all” officials in the Presidency are corrupt has dropped by more than half since 2020, from 40% to 16% (Figure 3).
  • Similarly, far fewer citizens see widespread corruption among members of Parliament (22%, down from 36% in 2020) and among local government councillors (23%, down from 36% in 2020).

A growing number of Zambians say corruption in the country is declining, a recent Afrobarometer study shows.

Drops in public perceptions of widespread corruption are particularly notable with regard to the Presidency, Parliament, and local government councils.

As in many African countries, the police are most widely perceived as corrupt, followed by business executives, judges and magistrates, and civil servants.

Despite improvements in public perceptions of official corruption, a majority of Zambians say ordinary people risk retaliation if they report corruption to the authorities.