Uganda Police leads in bribery in East Africa

Uganda Police IGP Kale Kayihura

The Uganda Police Force has been found to be the most bribery-prone institution compared to other forces in the five East African Community partner states, according to the latest East Africa Bribery Index, carried out by Transparency International.

The Uganda Police had 80.8 bribery index score followed by Burundian Police with a 75 index score. Index scores range from one to 100 with a higher score indicating adverse ranking.

The survey recorded responses on bribery from 12,924 respondents across Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda between February and May. At least 2,733 respondents were randomly picked across Uganda.

The study focused on the likelihood of encountering a bribery situation, prevalence of bribery, impact of bribery, share of ‘national’ bribe and the average size of bribe in the five East African countries.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said: “There are no specifics in the report. Our Police Professional Standards Unit has done a lot in fighting corruption. I don’t think anyone who follows what is going on in the police force can accept their findings.”

Generally, the East African Bribery Index shows that Uganda institutions have continued to decline in the fight against graft in comparison with institutions in other East African countries.

“In terms of national ranking, institutions in Uganda have registered a marked deterioration relative to the [East African] 2010 index. Only two institutions in the country were ranked among the top ten in 2010 compared to four in 2011 [index],” the survey indicates.

The four Ugandan institutions among the region’s top 10 most bribery-prone institutions are Police, Uganda Revenue Authority, Judiciary and Lands ministry, respectively. President Museveni has on several occasions promised to fight corruption, but the study finds little efforts to reduce it.

Overall, Uganda is ranked second after Burundi in the bribery prevalence in East Africa and the act has increased in the country by 0.9 per cent from 33 per cent last year.

Mulago improves
In Uganda, there was, however, “slight improvement” in Mulago Hospital from the second position in 2010 to the fifth in organisations where bribes are expressly demanded. The hospital spokesperson, Mr Dan Kimosho, said the survey portrays their intensive fight against corruption since the new management took office.

“We are out to fight corruption and we are not about to stop. The death threats against our officers come up as a result of this fight. It is just the beginning,” Mr Kimosho said.

The Judiciary moved from the third position to the second with public servants who seek bribes from the public.
Daily Monitor could neither reach the government spokesperson, Ms Karooro Okurut, nor the State Minister of Ethics, Fr. Simon Lokodo, for comment on the report because they neither picked nor returned our repeated calls.