THE corruption situation in Zambia is getting worse according to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released by Transparency International Zambia in Lusaka yesterday.
The 2019 Index shows Zambia ranked at 34 out of 180 countries with 113 points, and has continued a consistent downward trend since 2016. The 2019 Index further notes that this is Zambia’s lowest score and ranking in eight years.
In 2018, Zambia scored 105 and and was ranked 35, meaning that the country has dropped by one on the rankings.
“In four years since 2016, Zambia has dropped four points on the CPI, the worst performance for the country. The Index further showed that in terms of ranking, Zambia had dropped by 17 places from the CPI 2017 rank of 96 out of 180 to 113 out of 180 in 2019 CPI 2019,” states the report. “There are 18 countries ahead of Zambia in the regional standing and includes countries like Ethiopia which had a lower score in 2018. This is the lowest score and ranking for Zambia since 2012.”
Speaking yesterday, TIZ president Reuben Lifuka said nine sources of information were used in computing the 2019 CPI score.
“The corruption situation is getting worse and we can no longer pretend all is well. There is no sector that has been spared including the extractive sector,” Lifuka revealed.
He said “in this election period, between now and the 2021 elections, we anticipate that corruption will even become worse as various players jostle for positions.”
Lifuka said the absence of laws to regulate political party funding and election campaign finance was a serious limitation for Zambia.
He argued that state capture did not begin when a political party formed government but when a political party received funding from all manner of sources without due diligence.
“The electoral process laws need to be strengthened to tackle loopholes which allow for corruption during the campaigns and actual elections. We should admit that in the 29 years of multiparty democracy, we have allowed money in politics to be the main determinant of our democratic fate,” he said.
Lifuka said Zambia’s CPI scores should be a source of concern “for all of us and particularly those mandated to provide political leadership to the country.”
“In this dark moment, leadership should emerge and not political rhetoric. These lowest CPI scores provides an opportunity to regroup and re-strategise. We need a new blueprint for fighting corruption. We should not be content with the limited achievements we have made in the last couple of years,” advised Lifuka.