LOW salaries contribute to incidences of bribery in public institutions, Zambia Bribe Payer’s Index Report (ZBPI) for 2014 has revealed.
The report has also indicated that lack of seriousness on the part of Government, high poverty and unemployment lvels were among the contributing factors to corruption.
According to a joint report by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Transparency International Zambia (TIZ), Zambia Police has been ranked as the most corrupt institution in the country seconded by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA).
The report further revealed that the prevalence of bribery had considerably worsened.
In 2012, 44.6 percent respondents paid a bribe while in 2014 it had increased to 57.1 percent.
“Avoiding delays, fear of service denial and the belief that it is a normal trend are observed to be the most common reason for paying a bribe when demanded,” revealed the report.
Zambia Police, local authorities, Ministry of Education and RTSA in 2014 were the top most institutions where staff demanded for bribes most frequently, and also institutions where a bribe was paid most often.
And Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Ambassador Peter Kasanda said corruption recorded in the ZBPI report was a hindrance to economic growth.
Dr Kasanda said such corruption should be denounced and perpetrators must be made accountable.
He suggested that all Government ministries must be availed the report in order to help combat corruption in Government.
But Caritas Zambia executive director Samuel Mulafulafu objected to the reports’ findings, saying that it concentrated on petty corruption.
Mr Mulafulafu urged ACC and TIZ to concentrate on grand corruption in their next report as opposed to what he termed as petty corruption which had no bearing on Zambia’s economy.
And in his response TIZ executive director Goodwell Lungu said ZBPI would start concentrating on grand corruption in its next report.
“Unfortunately, it is more prevalent among us who live in urban areas. We have a huge task ahead to try and break this corruption chain,” he said. He said combating corruption required transparency and accountability at all levels, adding that there was need to be more vigilant and dedicated to the fight against corruption.