Tanzania: Where 'something small' goes far
Bribery is rife in Tanzania, but there appears to be little political will to end the widespread practice. You are admitted to the municipal hospital with your critically ill mother. No one cares about you, the queues are long, the doctors are busy … and your mother is in the valley of the shadow of death.
Even women in labour have to pay the midwives. Dr Sebalda Leshabari, a lecturer at the College for Midwives at the Muhimbili National Hospital, criticised the behaviour of nurses and midwives and said they were defiling the profession.
The college had initiated a campaign to eradicate corruption and to stop midwives from verbally abusing pregnant women, she said. According to Transparency International’s global corruption barometer this year, between 50% and 74% of Tanzanians have paid a bribe in the past two years – and the police force, followed by the judiciary and health services, is seen as the most corrupt.
Helen Kijo-Bisimba, the director for the Legal and Human Rights Centre, said that Tanzania had been unable to make progress in eradicating corruption. She said officials routinely demanded bribes, broke laws and destroyed values.
She said ordinary citizens would continue to pay bribes if they saw ministers and MPs being dishonest. She said the director for the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau could not complete some cases and needed to discuss them with the director of public prosecutions before proceeding.
Kijo-Bisimba said the bureau would never be able to tackle corruption unless it was given teeth. If a Tanzanian wants a passport, he or she can get it in two or three days instead of 14 if someone in the immigration offices is bribed.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The Teacher/Daily Mail & Guardian