By Kizito Makoye in Dar es Salaam – Tanzania’s anti-corruption bureau has at last released the state-of-corruption report amid mounting pressure from foreign donors- who threatened to withhold aid unless its findings were made public.
In his desperate bid to salvage the country from further aid freeze, amid surging financial strains, President Jakaya Kikwete did not take chances-he ordered immediate release of the report ostensibly to ease the existing diplomatic strain with donors.
Meanwhile donors resolved to dish out aid to the tune of $562million in Tanzania General Budget Support for the 2011/12 financial year. The GBS members, including the African Development Bank, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Britain and the World Bank, would immediately disburse $453 million for the budget to be tabled in June.
The donors, however, withhold US$ 100million until when Tanzania government fulfils certain conditions including opening up infrastructure and fully embracing of the private sector.
The donor budget funding this year is $80million less following withdrawal of two countries from the GBS aid modality.
Titled, National Governance and Corruption Survey, the report which is available on www.pccb.go.tz , paints a rather gloomy picture- graft, according to the report, has virtually affected all sectors of the economy from service delivery to natural resources exploitation, industrial production, environmental protection, business and commerce.
The judiciary and the police are among the most corrupt institutions, according to the report with respondents describing the quality of services provided as poor.
The report, bluntly points out that corruption is still a major stumbling block for development process.
It also shows public officials as key perpetrators of corruption.
The rush to publish the corruption report would likely be perceived as a deliberate move to appease the donor community, with GBS chairperson Ms Ingunn Klepsvik, and the head of the European Union, Mr Tim Clarke, who were quoted in the press as saying that the war against corruption must be seen to bear tangible results to restore full confidence on the country’s general leadership.
Tanzania has been struggling to unwrap itself from the swinging pendulum of high level corruption revolving around the central bank’s 133billion shillings theft from External Payment Account, the $172 million Richmond emergency power supply contract, the $40 million Radar deal and many other shoddy deals worth millions of dollars in the mining sector.
The corruption survey which was conducted in 2009 says graft was still a serious governance and developmental challenge in Tanzania.
Responding to a question about what they think was the cause of corruption most respondents blamed on selfishness and poverty, although poor remuneration and high cost of living were named as major factors forcing people into the trap.
The report shows that corruption was a significant impediment to the general growth and operation of business in Tanzania.
Most top Chief Executive Officers of multi-national companies admitted to have faced graft huddles in their business pursuits in Tanzania. The report recommends that improvement in public administration is needed in order to make them efficient, transparent and accountable.
“Corruption is ranked as the third major problem by households after inflation and high cost of living,” says the report.
Corruption, according to the report, is linked by households to moral indecency and poor law enforcement. Other causes of corruption identified by more than 70% of respondents are poor leadership, high cost of living, poor remuneration, lack of effective corruption reporting system, lack of independent and effective judiciary and poverty. In most cases what the respondents said they had to offer, in exchange of services, was money, but in some cases, some were obliged to give a bribe in the form of property or sex.
Kizito Makoye is a scribe writing from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.