Tanzania has to pull up its socks and back words with commitment if the country wants to triumph against corruption, says Transparency International (TI).
The organisation recently ranked Tanzania at 111 out of 177 countries on its 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, nine places down from the 2013 index.
Since the publication of the 1996 Warioba report assessing the state of corruption in Tanzania, the country has established a comprehensive body of regulations, laws and oversight institutions aimed at preventing, investigating and sanctioning corrupt practices, including the Prevention of Corruption Bureau (PCB) to Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), and the Ethics Inspectorate Department.
However, anti-corruption institutions suffering from lack of staff, resources and coordination, enforcement of the laws and regulations remaining limited, which some view as the reasons behind the stalling of the fight against corruption.
“Despite 2013 being a year in which governments around the world passed new laws and forged fresh commitments to end corruption, people are not seeing the results of these promises”, said Transparency International.
According to the organisation, anti-corruption is an increasingly attractive platform for politicians, with many incorporating anti-corruption pledges into their election campaigns. The danger, however, is that these anti-corruption promises fail to materialise.
“Government guarantees of greater accountability do not always bring about tangible results at the local level. Protests in Brazil this summer showed public exasperation at the continuation of political scandals in spite of governmental assurances of a zero-tolerance policy on corruption,” claimed the organisation .
Borrow a leaf
Tanzania and the Sub-Saharan region as a whole once again shows the highest perceived levels of public sector corruption, averaging a score of 33.
According to TI, there are however success stories which showed action in executing anti-corruption strategies. Estonia established a new anti-corruption strategy centring on increasing transparency in state institutions by creation of online database accessible to all, where people can find who in their municipal council won a tender and what can be done with taxpayer money. The effort, among others, saw the country climbing four places in the index, from 32 in 2012 to 28 this year.
According to the latest corruption studies in the country, 18 per cent of Estonians said they had been offered bribes and four per cent had given bribes. The strategy is not dealing with crimes directly, but rather focusing on prevention and education.
In Spain, after a period blighted by political scandals indicating a lack of accountability and fading public trust, the country has dropped ten places in the index from 30 last year to 40 this year. Spain tried to remedy its corruption troubles with a new Transparency Law passed by a congress in September and awaits Senate’s approval .