Police are the most corrupt public servants: Corruption Watch report

The 2019 Analysis of Corruption Trends Report revealed that, for the first time, the police have overtaken sectors such as schools, health and local government.
The 2019 Analysis of Corruption Trends Report revealed that, for the first time, the police have overtaken sectors such as schools, health and local government.
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Corruption in the police service constituted the most reports received in 2019, Corruption Watch said on Tuesday.

According to the organisation, 1,591 whistle-blowers exposed corruption in different sectors across the country.

The third edition of half-yearly publication Analysis of Corruption Trends Report revealed that, for the first time, the police had overtaken sectors such as schools, health and local government.

The leading forms of corruption in the police were abuse of power (35.7%) and bribery (30.6%).

Whistle-blowers alleged that the police network of patronage protected the corrupt and  punished those striving to blow the whistle on graft, or members of the public seeking help after filing a case.

According to the report, corruption in schools stood at 30.6%.

“This is often at the hands of principals, school officials and school governing body members who deploy elaborate schemes to steal funds and divert resources that are intended to enhance learner education and environment.

“This constitutes a violation of human rights at the most fundamental level.”

In the report, a whistle-blower claimed that an employee was wrongfully appointed to multiple posts, earning salaries from  the school governing body and the department of basic education.

According the whistle-blower, the person failed to fulfill the tasks and responsibilities that came with the position.

At local government level, the most corruption reports, 35.5%, related to procurement irregularities in municipalities.

Bribery is the second-highest form of corruption in government, at 22.3%.

In the report, a whistle-blower claimed officials accepted bribes for sale of municipal properties, especially houses.

Whistle-blowers also alleged that officials, including municipal managers, at times rigged procurement processes with the clear intention to exclude some bidders so their friends and family scored tenders.

There had also been a “worrying increase” in reports of corruption in health facilities..

The most rife form was employment irregularities, at 33.3%, followed by procurement irregularities, at 15.1%.

It was indicated that employees of clinics and hospitals were at the centre of both forms of corruption, where there was little external influence or oversight.

“As a result, friends and family members of officials are given positions and promotions at the expense of others who are just as qualified, if not better,” the report read.

Executive director of Corruption Watch David Lewis said the data had guided the organisation in its decision to intensify its engagement with the police and health sectors.

“Where policing is concerned, we are presently building an easily accessible platform that will provide basic information about every police station in the country, thus enabling communities to rate the performance of, and hold accountable, their police stations,” Lewis said.


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