2009-12-31 10:13:00 Tanesco tops graft 'List of Shame' The ForDIA Tanzania Chapter Executive Director, Mr Bubelwa Kaiza, speaks in Dar es Salaam yesterday.By Bernard Lugongo and Al-amani Mutarubukwa Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) is the most corrupt public institution, according to a survey carried out by the regional NGO Concern for Development Initiatives in Africa (ForDIA). Employees of the cash-strapped state power utility, which grapples with serious power shortages almost every year, are the leading bribe seekers and takers, according ForDIA's report titled Awareness and State of Corruption in Tanzania. The Police Force and Judiciary are second and third, respectively, in ForDIA's corruption "List of Shame". The report ranks licensing and revenue, water and sewerage and health authorities in fourth, fifth and sixth places, respectively. Others in the top ten are the Tanzania Commission for Aids (Tacaids), Tanzania Roads Agency and the education and natural resources sectors. Lands and housing, cooperatives, ward development committees and district executive directors also featured prominently in the rankings. The report is the second comprehensive local study on corruption perception compiled by ForDIA, a non-governmental organisation with a presence in several other countries in central and southern Africa region. Speaking at the launch of the report yesterday, ForDIA Tanzania Chapter Executive Director Mr Bubelwa Kaiza said the study carried out in 40 districts had shown that corruption levels were still "very high" and remained a major concern among Tanzanians. Mr Kaiza said corruption perception had dropped by 3 per cent compared to the 2008 findings. "We can't be proud because 48 per cent is an alarming level. We would like to see corruption diminish because it is taking a huge toll at community levels," he said. The result, he elaborated, meant that for every 100 people, 48 were affected by corruption. Fifty-one per cent of the respondents said they were affected in the earlier study. A whooping 82 per cent of the respondents said the power sector was the most problematic with the police scoring 75.8 per cent. The Judiciary (75.78 per cent) fell one place from its fourth position in 2008. Mr Kaiza said 41 per cent of the respondents pointed cited greed and selfishness as the leading causes of corrupt behaviour followed by low salaries (28 per cent) and poverty (17 per cent). Other factors were weak civic competence (8 per cent), service fast-tracking (4.4 per cent), immorality (2 per cent), abuse of power (1 per cent) and response to foreign policy (0.1 per cent). The study carried between March and July, this year, focused on service delivery by local government authorities in the 40 districts in 10 regions namely Mwanza, Tabora, Singida, Iringa, Arusha, Dodoma, Coast, Kigoma, Shinyanga and Ruvuma. Mr Kaiza said the police, Judiciary, health, lands and housing and natural resources were the leading areas of bribery, in that order, at the grassroots level. Tanesco did not feature prominently here largely because most rural areas have yet to be connected to the national power grid. He noted that corruption awareness among the public was as high as 90 per cent, implying that people frequently gave or received bribes. The findings also suggest that law enforcement agencies are virtually non-existent at the village level, making it difficult for ordinary people to report corruption. "We've also discovered that that there was an average of just four PCCB officers at the district level, making it hard for them to reach rural areas to combat corruption at that level,"Mr Kaiza said. The research, he added, would help policy makers design strategies to reach rural areas and plan on how best to effectively combat the vice and promote good governance. He said the government should set up anti-corruption committees at the village level to combat the problem by helping communities to play a leading role, adding that citizens' participation in policy-making should also be encouraged. The report comes barely a month after Global perception Index (CPI) reported that Tanzania has slipped 24 places in the global corruption ranking over the last one year, reflecting the country's faltering effort in the campaign against the vice. The country dropped from position 102 in 2008, to 126 in the 2009 Global Corruption Perception Index (CPI), whose results were released last month by the Berlin-based anti-graft agency, Transparency International (TI). According to the findings of the respected anti-corruption watchdog, Tanzania posted its first worst performance in recent years in the annual ranking of the 180 countries surveyed worldwide. However, with the exception of Rwanda, Tanzania did better in the region, ranking higher than Kenya (146) and Uganda (130) in the global index. Kenya improved by one position, while Uganda dropped four places. Rwanda, which was ranked the same as Tanzania in 2008, is now considered the least corrupt country in the East Africa, coming in at an impressive 89th place.