The report dubbed “Rwanda Bribery Index (RBI) 2020” released by Transparency International Rwanda (TI-RW) reveals that 19.2% of Rwandans directly or indirectly demanded or offered bribe in an interaction with an institution in 2020.
RBI 2020 also divulges that 52.8% of Rwandans consider the level of corruption to be low while 20.5% perceive that it is high. Moreover, the majority of Rwandans consider the government’s efforts to fight corruption as effective but this perception has slightly decreased at 6% from 81.9% in 2019 to 75.9% in 2020.
“This is due to the fact that the containment of Covid-19 pandemic highly drew government’s attention and a little bit minimized the anti-corruption efforts,” Marie Immaculée Ingabire, Chairperson of TI-RW said during the launch of the report on 28th January 2020.
According to Ingabire, one of the biting challenges that deter the fight against graft in Rwanda is low level of reporting. In 2020, according to the report, 88.1% did not report cases of corruption, with the main reasons being that it did not occur to them that they needed to report (25.7%) and fear of self-incrimination (20.1%).
“As the level of reporting remains low, all stakeholders should be visible and be engaged in empowering citizens, sensitize them to report and assure them of their safety when they report cases of corruption,” Ingabire underscored.
Due to Covid-19 related circumstances, prevalence and likelihood of bribery have increased in institutions more involved in the containment of the covid-19.
While the likelihood of bribe stands at 3.8% at the national level, it emerged that the private sector and the Traffic Police registered the highest likelihood to demand bribe to service seekers with 12.9% and 12.7% respectively.
The survey also indicates that the traffic police and private sector registered the highest prevalence of bribe with 12% and 7% respectively while the national prevalence stands at 2.50% in 2020 from 2% in 2019.
Interestingly, as per the report, the national average size of bribe decreased to Rw97,529 in 2020 from Rwf121,567 in 2019. It is worth noting that average size of bribe paid to judges has significantly decreased in 2020 (from Rwf206,000 in 2018 and Rwf345,000 in 2019 to Rwf48,125 in 2020).
The report recommends Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) to continue practicing the Zero Tolerance Policy while enforcing covid-19 preventive measures; Private Sector federation (PSF) to be more visible and engaged in the fight against corruption especially during this covid-19 pandemic crisis and establish sound internal control mechanisms and whistle-blowing systems; and the local government to harness the partnership with grassroots based non state actors (CSOs, media, CBOs, faith-based organizations).
In the launch held virtually, Transparency International Rwanda also launched Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2020 conducted by Transparency International (TI).
According to the report, Rwanda has increased its score from 53% (2019) to 54% (2019) and is now ranked 49th globally from 51st in the CPI 2019. Rwanda retained the fourth position in the Sab-Saharan Africa following Seychelles (27th with 66% score), Botswana (35th with 60%) and Cabo Verde (41st with 58) and is the first in the East African region.
In our region, Rwanda is followed by Tanzania (94th with 38%), Kenya (124th with 31%), Uganda (142nd with 27%), Burundi and DRC (165th with 19%).