Harare – Corruption watchdog , Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) has reportedly claimed that Zimbabwe is losing at least $1bn to corruption, adding that police and government officials are the worst offenders.
According to The Source, local councils, the vehicle inspection department which issues licences, the department of education and the police, were among the worst corrupt institutions in the southern African country.
Zimbabwe was last year ranked 150th out of 168 countries on the Transparency International index, which measures public perceptions of corruption in public institutions.
Corruption mainly consisted of public officials demanding bribes for basic services like installing an electricity metre, approving a house plan to facilitating investment, among others.
"The resulting institutionalisation and systematisation of corruption in Zimbabwean political and economic spheres has been extensive," TIZ said.
High-ranking graft cases
"It would be surprising if the value (of corruption) were less than $1bn annually.”
Early this year, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported that Zimbabwe's tax authority (Zimra) discovered that it was losing millions of dollars due to a syndicate that processed counterfeit imports documents to smuggle vehicles and other products into the country.
Among those who were arrested on the alleged corruption were former Zimra officials who acted as clearing agents.
Zimra at the time also allegedly suspended its head and five managers in connection with the purchase of luxury cars that were undervalued by a local dealer, one of few high-ranking graft cases to be made public in recent years.
Zimbabwe has, in recent months, been hit by a wave of protests, as Zimbabweans demand that the government acts on the ongoing economic hardships, as well as rapid corruption.