A YOUTH and Corruption Baseline survey has revealed that at least 65% of youths have paid bribes to get services at various institutions such as passport offices, colleges, police and vehicle inspection department.
by VENERANDA LANGA
The recent study, published by Transparency International-Zimbabwe (TI-Z), said 75% of the young people they interviewed from a sample of 750 revealed they were willing to fight corruption through a systematised anti-corruption organisation and through social media platforms.
“The findings from this study highlight that young people experiences with corruption in Zimbabwe is influenced by their gender, mainly because of the dominant patriarchal system in which young women are generally excluded from resources and opportunities which make them vulnerable to various forms of exploitation,” the report read.
“Young women are also active agents who are involved in various forms of corrupt activities as a means of accessing goods and services.”
The TI-Z Youth and Corruption Baseline study said women were victims of corruption and sexual exploitation.
A female respondent during the study said: “We are often asked for sexual favours as a means to sweeten the deal in exchange for employment. If one refuses, one may end up not securing employment.”
Most young women interviewed were asked or coerced into sex by male lecturers in return for better grades, resulting in certain degrees now popularly known as “sexually transmitted degrees” (STDs).
Male students were also not spared from sexual exploitation. But their abuse was hidden because of commonly held perceptions that males generally would want sex and were not exploited out of option, but out of choice.
“Forty-nine percent of respondents indicated that young people cannot make a difference in the fight against corruption, arguing that young people lacked political power,” the TIZ study showed.
“Generally, young people are less willing to take part in peaceful protest against corruption (10%), or to sign a petition asking government to fight corruption and reporting a corruption incident. On signing petitions, most respondents indicated that this was a waste of time as the current government was not moved by such advocacy tools.”
Some of the recommendations in the study included setting up of youth friendly means of reporting corruption, conviction of corrupt political elites to show that the system worked, mechanisms to protect young women from sexual corruption, disseminating information on corruption to young people and whistleblower protection.