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Poll shows Mozambicans exasperated by failing anti-corruption efforts

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A new report from the African polling project Afrobarometer suggests Mozambicans take a fatalistic view of government corruption in the country – with most people feeling powerless in the face of corruption, and faith in the authorities’ ability to tackle it the lowest in the region.

The poll, which pulls together data gathered in 2014 and 2015 from 36 African countries, shows that just 49% of Mozambicans believe that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption – well below the regional average of 59%.

Faith in the government’s ability to combat bribes and kickbacks is even lower. Only 14% of Mozambicans listed reporting incidents to authorities as the most effective way to fight corrupt practices, the lowest rate of any country surveyed. An almost equal proportion responded that ordinary people have no options in the face of corruption, while 30% of respondents said that the best way to avoid a bribe was to refuse to pay.

The data suggest that the main barrier to curbing corruption in Mozambique is not malice but lack of state capacity. 19% of respondents said that the main reason corruption isn’t reported in Mozambique is fear of reprisals, far below the continent-wide average of 34%. By contrast, Mozambique came top in the proportion of citizens who wouldn’t know where or how to report corruption even if they wanted to.

Corruption remains a major problem in many Mozambicans’ everyday lives. Mozambique ranked 142nd out of 176 countries listed in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures expected corruption levels both in high government positions and in the interactions regular citizens have with the state.

© 2017, Zitamar Ltd. Reproduction and dissemination prohibited without written permission.

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