Monday, January 24

Is It "Bribery" If Everyone's Doing It?

According to Transparency International, The National Integrity Systems TI Country Study Report - Zambia 2003 analyzes Zambia's governance system, including the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, and "makes damning reading." Uh-oh.

The report provides "a devastating analysis of how a government can loot its Treasury, corrupt key agencies, distort privatisation and banking processes, and use the resources of the state to fund its dominance of the election process and pay for its retention of power."

TI asserts that Zambia ranks 92nd out of 133 countries in terms of the Corruption Perceptions Index -- an index that seeks to portray perceptions of corruption in countries.

Unfortunately, this doesn't surprise me. When I was in Zambia, many civil servants openly joked about being on the take. Once they had enough money, they claimed, they were going to retire to their farms and grow maize.