Uganda has once again emerged the country with the highest levels of bribery in East Africa, according to the East African Bribery Index 2012, a survey by Transparency International.

The survey report, launched in Kampala yesterday, also showed the Uganda Police  on top of the list of bribery-prone institutions. The judiciary and land services follow in that order.

Carried out in the five east African countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the survey revealed that, at 40.7%, Uganda has the highest bribery levels in the region, followed by Tanzania (39.1%), Kenya (29.5%), Burundi (18.8%) and Rwanda (2.5%).

The findings are particularly disturbing because they show that the situation in Uganda is not improving. Last year, Uganda polled at 38%. What is more, the respondents (1449) drawn from central, eastern, northern and western Uganda strongly believe that bribery levels will increase in the coming years.

What the results from Uganda mean is that bribery will gravely add to the cost of doing business, which in turn affects production. At a regional level, bribery will adversely affect trade between nations with countries. There is, therefore, need to address the issue.

On the current state of corruption, 82% of respondents observed that corruption levels either remained as bad or increased in the last one year. The biggest reasons given for this trend were the lack of political will to fight the vice and the fact that government officials in Uganda are too corrupt to effectively fight corruption.

The trend, Patrick Kayemba of Transparency International Uganda Chapter said, is worrying. “We are worse off than we were one year ago in spite of having the best anti-corruption institutions in the region. This trend is very, very worrying. We need to ask ourselves, what is happening?”


The police (85) and judiciary (44) ranked the two top most bribery-prone institutions in Uganda followed by Tax services (32.5) land services (26.9) registry and licensing services (23.2), city and local councils (21.8), medical services (20.7) and educational institutions (16.5). Of particular concern is the rise in the probability of a service seeker being required to pay a bribe upon interaction (69.5% in 2010 and 74.1% in 2011).

The police were followed by city and local councils (54.3%), judiciary (49.6%), registry and licensing services (46.1%) and land services (46%). The findings, however, drew sharp criticism from the Commandant of the Police Professional Standards Unit.

“Those people claiming the police are corrupt are the corrupt ones. Do you think you are being sincere? You are trivializing the issue of corruption. To talk about police but you never ask how much it is paid,” Samuel Kyomukama said.

Most of the respondents said they believed bribery solicitation was highest in the judiciary and councils, although those sectors registered the lowest actual payments. The report, however, says the outcome of the police was consistent for the two indicators (48.2%) followed by tax services (40.6) and registry and licensing services (34%).

Asked whether they would have received the services if they had failed to pay a bribe, half of the respondents who paid the bribes believed that was the only way to access services from police (54%), tax services (46.5%), land services (40.5%), registry and licensing services (39.6%) and judiciary (36.6%).

In terms of the average size of the bribe, the judiciary topped (Shs 594,137) followed by land services (Shs 235,259), tax services (Shs 115,500), police (Shs 105,512) and education institutions (Shs 75,322). It is a change from 2010 and 2011 where the police, local authorities and Uganda Revenue Authority topped.

Uganda reported the lowest rate of corruption cases simply because 34.1% of the respondents knew no action would be take even if reported, 17.6% fear intimidation, while 12.8% fear to self-incriminate. Three of every four people interviewed are likely not to report bribery in future because almost half of the reports on corruption don’t get acted upon.   The reasons aren’t any different from those cited in the previous years.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


+3 #1 nusnaki 2012-08-31 04:00
How about Traffic officers? Are they part of the police too? Kale nga babbi! They even have their bodaboda assistants seated on the side of the road to wait for the loot!

Ugandans have spent 26 years in the class of thievery! They stole our innocence!!
Report to administrator
+6 #2 TF 2012-08-31 07:36
CONGRATULATIONS NRM government for bringing us another GOLD medal. You have indeed done us proud by delivering a fundamental change as you promised in 1986.

Report to administrator
+5 #3 mugisha Nsherwa 2012-08-31 10:04
Uganda is the "winner" number one. May be the wording should have been that Uganda excelled at he recent survey by emerging number one in corruption.

Certainly you can only excel at what you do best or where you have put alot of efort. One one side you have kazinda, on another side you have the police, on another side you have the politicians etc. Corruption goes beyond stealing, it also includes nepotism amnog others. If M7 son is promoted over night, h
Report to administrator
+2 #4 Lakwena 2012-08-31 14:52
The police have become pollsters and Transparency International’s annual corruption survey punching bag. Humanly speaking, the police officers should only be accused of corruption after they have been given a decent minimum living wage: say of Shs.700, 000 @ month after tax, and housing inclusive.

Otherwise, no one including president Museveni is qualified to label them corrupt. Can you blame a good dog for becoming a stray and rabid? No, you blame the master for not feeding, inoculating and grooming it.

Unless the government comes out with a realistic policy on minimum wage and the provision of quality social services for all, corruption is here to stay. And more Ugandans will languish around like stray dogs.
Report to administrator
+1 #5 Lakwena 2012-08-31 14:53
The police, like other civil servants are corrupt in order to provide the social services; which the government is not providing to their next of kins. Unlike the fat cats in other government departments; the Afandes ask for kitu kidogo as survival for the weakest, and not to accumulate a fortune.

Let me ask, in Kampala or elsewhere, which family of four can live on Shs.250, 000? We all go to the same market; to taste the pudding, give the pollsters and Gen Kayihura Shs.250, 000 to live on for a month and see how far they can go.
Report to administrator
0 #6 steven kasiko 2012-08-31 18:31
These are the fruits of having President Museveni
the father of corruption in Uganda
Report to administrator
+3 #7 Akot 2012-08-31 21:00
Corruption is the fruit of bad governance! The old East Af.Community used to complain of how Keny was corrupt! Museveni has put Ug. in the spot light & nothing is working for the youth & common Ugandan!

How can we expect NRM to be clean when their band robbed banks while in bush - they let notes saying they would repay when in power, have they repaid?

Ug.police was trimmed & shaped to the taste of Museveni, it isn't a national police working for the people!
Survival in Ug. seems to be for those who can steal, loot, grab & these are not the common men/women in the country!

How long are tribal & opposition leaders going to participate in the looting while watching & turning blind eyes & deaf ears & play the unconcerned? Do these have children, grand children? What will be their future?
Report to administrator
+1 #8 Obalopiny 2012-09-01 02:52
Uganda the most corrupt in E. Africa? Not surprising coz the thieves are in charge having stollen the country!
Report to administrator
-1 #9 fred bali 2012-09-01 12:34
My brother Akot, as long as Notherners are still wild and indisciplined in the army to the extent of stealing a motorbike from a bodaboda rider, like what i read about a full Lt. yesterday, whom the president ordered dismissed for that action on a civilian, then we would rather have a corrupt govt and sleep soundly without the fear of panda gari from such indisciplined thugs.
Report to administrator
+1 #10 sn 2012-09-01 20:28
Police,judiciar y,... and did they forget to add state house and NRM and UPDF. Every year the Auditor General raises issues with state house spending; every year statehouse demands for and gets supplimentary budgets but there is absolutely no value for money.

State house has very many unfulfilled pledges. And state house has a very large support sta staff base including SFG, ISO, DISO, GISO, RDC, and presidential advisors for all manner of non existent functions.

Many political failures are accomodated in foreign service which is reporting increased corruption.UPDF has consistently bouight junks and maintained ghost soldiers. Soviet MIG21 were bought by Idi Amin new in the 1970s. UPDF buys same stuff in 21st century!

No wonder there is almost no real development or progress in public service delivery. Public health almost non existent; public education too poor; poverty too high, agriculture neglected; roads too bad; railway collapsed. When does this end?
Report to administrator

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.