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AD25: Zimbabweans see corruption on the increase but fear consequences of reporting

Stephen Ndoma 12 Apr 2015 Zimbabwe
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Key findings
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of adult Zimbabweans believe the level of corruption has increased over the past year, including 48% who say it has increased “a lot.”
  • The government gets poor marks for its handling of the corruption scourge: 80% say the government is doing “badly” or “very badly” in fighting corruption. Nevertheless, the ruling party is seen as better able to address corruption problems than the opposition.
  • Six of 10 Zimbabweans (61%) believe the news media should constantly investigate and report on government mistakes and corruption, although only 42% believe that the news media is “somewhat” or “very” effective in the fight against corruption.

Transparency International consistently ranks Zimbabwe among the most corrupt countries in the world (156th out of 175 countries in its 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index). In the latest Afrobarometer survey, a majority of adult Zimbabweans say that the level of corruption in the country has increased over the past year. A majority believe that most or all members of the police force are involved in corrupt activities, and a substantial proportion of respondents say they paid bribes to procure identity documents or avoid problems with the police. Most Zimbabweans say the government is performing badly in its fight against the scourge.

Incidents of corruption are under-reported for a variety of reasons, including fear of adverse consequences, and many Zimbabweans appear to feel helpless to combat corruption. Nonetheless, a majority believe that the news media should constantly investigate and report on government mistakes and corruption.

Stephen Ndoma

Stephen is the assistant project manager for Southern Africa