South Africa

Tanzania: Tanzania Inches Up in Global Corruption Index

PRESIDENT John Pombe Magufuli's zeal of slaying the corruption dragon is now paying dividends after Tanzania climbed three places in the global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

The country is ranked 96th among 180 countries in the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index released by the global agency on Thursday.

The country scored 37 points on a 100-point scale, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean, Transparency International said.

"The Tanzanian government under the presidency of John Magufuli has cracked down heavily on corruption," noted the report."

It said, despite the current anti-corruption campaigns, political, petty and grand corruption seem to be endemic in the country.

"Citizens perceive that corruption levels have fallen in the country, but many still fear reporting acts of corruption," read the report authored by Kaunain Rahman.

The country ranked 99th out of 180 countries in the Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) with a score of 36/100.

Tanzania's scores, in fact, have been steadily improving since 2015 thanks to President Magufuli's strong-armed approach to fighting corruption.

Tanzania comes second in East African region, behind Rwanda which garnered 53 points out of 100.

Kenya and Uganda posted 28 points with Burundi registering 19 while EAC's new entrant tails the bloc having collected 12 points in the index which measures the perceived levels of corruption in the public sector in countries and territories worldwide, drawing on 13 expert assessments and surveys of business executives.

Since assuming the country's top most office in November 2015, President Magufuli has demonstrated a no-nonsensical approach in curbing corruption and misuse of public funds by firing public officials deemed to be incompetent and corrupt.

Such a zeal has earned him credibility and acclaim, both in and outside Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Denmark and New Zealand top the CPI 2019 with scores of 87 each.

According to TI, in the last eight years, only 22 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Greece, Guyana and Estonia.

In the same period, 21 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Canada, Australia and Nicaragua.

In the remaining 137 countries, the levels of corruption show little to no change.

The highest scoring region is Western Europe with an average score of 66 while regions with the lowest scores include Sub-Saharan Africa (average score: 32) and Eastern and Central Asia (average score: 35).

The 2019 CPI report highlights the relationship between politics, money and corruption, with comparisons to data on political campaign finance transparency and the public's access to decisionmaking.

"Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems," offered Ms Delia Ferreira Rubio, TI's Chairperson.

The global agency notes in the index that countries with lower CPI scores also had a higher concentration of political power among wealthy citizens.

"Across the board, there is a concerning popular perception that rich people buy elections, both among some of the lowest-scoring countries on the CPI, as well as among certain higher-scoring countries, such as the United States," it says.