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The nexus between corruption, conflict, peace and security

Opinion & Analysis

Transparency International Zimbabwe joins the global movement against corruption in launching the 2022 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

The CPI scores 180 countries or territories through their perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), according to experts and businesspeople. Zimbabwe is among 124 countries that have stagnant corruption levels, maintaining a score of 23/100, against the regional sub-Saharan Africa average of 32/100.

The level of corruption in Zimbabwe remains high despite the introduction of anti-corruption initiatives and approaches under the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (Nacs). This is due to impunity, limited political will and lack of co-ordination among the anti-corruption agencies. 

This years’ #CPI 2022 focuses on corruption, conflict, peace and security in line with Sustainable Development Goal 16 on the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.  Corruption undermines trust in governments and their ability to protect the public, leading to increased security threats that are difficult to control.

On the other hand, conflict creates opportunities for corruption and makes governments less able to address it.  Broadly, corruption fuels social grievances by diverting funds from public goods towards private interests and giving disproportionate influence over policy to specific sectors of society. It shapes opportunities for conflict by preventing security and law enforcement institutions to detect and contain threats.

History has it that corruption provided incentives for alternative voices including political formations to challenge the government over the rampant corruption experienced in the country since the turn of the millennium. People have lost trust in the State’s capacity and or willingness to enforce policies. In the long run, failure to address corruption contributes to increased political instability and social uprisings. 

Furthermore, political instability increases pressure on resources and weakens oversight bodies, thereby creating opportunities for crime such as bribery and embezzlement to fester. Therefore, Zimbabwe is at risk of experiencing organised crime and increased security threats which are common among most of the low-ranking countries experiencing conflict.

The report presents an opportunity for various stakeholders to engage critically on the impact of corruption in the country and proffer solutions to effectively deal with corruption. The 2022 CPI score is indeed a reflection of endemic corruption in the public sector in Zimbabwe as enunciated in the successive Auditor-General’s reports. Various forms of corruption have been evident across local authorities, central government and State-owned enterprises.

TIZ, therefore, recommends the government of Zimbabwe and anti-corruption actors to prioritise the following issues in order to deal with corruption:

Enactment of whistleblower protection laws: The government of Zimbabwe should expedite the enactment of the whistleblower protection legislation to ensure the protection of those who make reports in line with Article 33 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on the protection of reporting persons.

  • Strengthen and support the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy: The strategy remains a viable option for Zimbabwe as it promotes co-ordination and strategic interventions in the fight against corruption. The government of Zimbabwe through the Finance and Economic Development ministry should set aside a budget to support the strategic implementation of the Nacs.
  • Invest in building the capacity of anti-corruption actors and institutions: Concerted efforts should be directed at adequately building the capacity of anti-corruption actors through skills strengthening and adequately resourcing them to respond to complex anti-corruption cases. This will partly address challenges associated with ineffective investigation and prosecution of grand corruption cases.
  • Share information and uphold the right to access it: Ensure the public receives accessible, timely and meaningful information, including on public spending and resource distribution. There must be rigorous and clear guidelines for withholding sensitive information, including in the defence sector.
  • Broaden political will: The fight against corruption should not be limited to political rhetoric, but emphasis should be towards sustainable building of blocks in the fight against corruption. 


  • Transparency International is a global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption

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