By Staff Writer
The Uganda Police today stands accused of being the most corrupt police force in East Africa. According to the East African Bribery Index 2011, the Uganda Police lead the pack of the most bribery prone institutions in the region, followed by the Burundi Police, Customs/Revenue Authority – Burundi, Kenya Police and Uganda Revenue Authority in that order. For the second year running, the survey did not record enough bribery reports to formulate an index for Rwanda. The bribery reports recorded for most of the institutions were statistically insignificant to form a reliable basis for ranking.
Burundi has retained the top position as the most bribery prone country in East Africa,. Burundi has a bribery prevalence level of 37.9% up from 36.7% in 2010, while Uganda and Tanzania have been ranked second and third at 33.9% and 31.6% respectively, both up from 33% and 28.6% in 2010. Kenya recorded a slight improvement at 28.8% down from 31.9% in 2010. Rwanda is once again ranked fifth with a bribery prevalence of 5.1% down from 6.6% last year.
The East African Bribery Index is a governance tool developed to measure bribery levels in the private and public sectors in the region. The survey was conducted among 12,924 respondents selected through random household sampling across all the administrative regions in the five countries between February and May 2011. The respondents were asked to mention institutions where they were required to pay bribes or where bribes were expected as a condition to access services, and if the service sought was delivered upon payment or refusal to pay the bribe. The police, revenue authorities and the judiciary across the different countries were poorly rated in the regional aggregate index. All the police institutions in Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania appeared in the list of the ten most bribery prone institutions in East Africa.
The survey also sought to establish the sectors most affected by bribery. The law enforcement sector emerged the most bribery prone sector in Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda. The health and education sectors were also ranked adversely in comparison to the other sectors. The survey also analysed bribery payments in the water, education and health sectors according to gender. In Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, there were higher instances of women experiencing bribe demands or expectations in the health sector and similarly paying a bribe than the men. In the water and education sectors, more bribes were demanded from and paid by the men than women in the three countries. Male respondents were more likely to experience a bribery situation as well as pay a bribe in the different sectors in Burundi.
Reporting of corruption cases was low in all the five countries. Burundi recorded the lowest number of people forwarding corruption complaints with only 3.2% reporting corruption incidents. Only 7.1 % of the respondents in Kenya reported incidents of corruption compared to 10.8% last year; 9.9% and 6.9% forwarded corruption complaints in Uganda and Tanzania respectively while 16% filed complaints in Rwanda.