Most Malawians believe that corruption in the country has significantly worsened since the last survey in 2010 by Chancellor College’s Centre for Social Research.
In its 2014 governance and corruption survey report presented in Blantyre on Fridayby Chancellor College’s Centre for Social Research, as high as 96 percent of ordinary Malawians hold the view that corruption is a serious problem.
In 2010, according to this report, 83 percent of Malawians held this perception.
The report, prepared by Blessings Chinsinga, Boniface Dulani, Peter Mvula and Joseph Chunga, all from Chancellor College, says while 52 percent of Malawians in 2010 felt the problem had worsened compared to preceding 10 years, 92 percent in this survey hold the view that corruption had worsened in their comparison to 10 years ago.
The survey report, funded by Irish Aid and presented to the media at Ryalls Hotel, says a higher percentage of businesses believe that corruption is very common in their transactions.
Reads the report: “Up to 43 percent of businesses in 2013 said it is common to pay some gratification in order to get things done, which is a considerable rise from 27 percent in 2010.”
The report says businesses that have made sales to the public sector over the past two years were more likely to pay gratification to get things done than those who did not.
In 2010, says the report, 33 percent of businesses that had done business with government indicated corrupting government officials to get business was common, and this proportion increased to 58 percent in 2013.
The report says when citizens were asked as to who was behind the corruption problem, most Malawians pointed at public officials as the main culprit.
Reads the report: Choosing among public officials and other actors; namely citizens, businesses and politicians: 62 percent of Malawians believe that public officials are the leading perpetrators of corruption in the country.
“They were also ranked first, with 54 percent in 2010. Politicians and businesses are at 14 percent while ordinary citizens are mentioned by six percent of the citizens.”
Institutions that were rated highly in combating corruption included the media rated at 73.6 percent, churches/religious bodies at 72.6 percent, non-governmental organisations at 61.1 percent, academics and teachers at 60.9 percent and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) at 50.5 percent.
Others are police and the Office of the Ombudsman at 49.6 percent and 48.5 percent respectively.
The report says the concern, however, of the 2013 survey findings, is that they showed that citizens are not fully aware of processes of reporting corruption. Only 17.6 percent of citizens fully knew the processes.
The report recommends undertaking of a comprehensive political economy analysis of the implementation of the anti-corruption efforts which it says will be quite critical in terms of identifying barriers to and opportunities for implementation of anti-corruption strategies.
It also recommends review and strengthening the anti-corruption legislative framework because a robust legal and regulatory framework properly enforced guarantees legitimacy.
The report further encourages promotion of a culture of reporting corrupt activities by both citizens and public officials, among others.
Chunga, one of people that carried out the survey and authored the report, said in an interview yesterday it was worrying that corruption was worsening at a time resources were being pumped in to fight corruption.
He said corruption dents the image of the nation and citizens stand to lose out as witnessed in the recent Cashgate scandal, where donors pulled out their budgetary support to the country.
Chunga said where there is corruption, only a few people benefit at the expense of the rest of Malawians, which he said was a sad thing that cannot see the nation develop.