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Batswana believe corruption is increasing

- Batswana want President, Officials to account and declare assets

- 81% of Batswana believe Govt officials corrupt
- Batswana want Khama to attend Parliament

According to the results of the Afrobarometer survey of Botswana conducted in June 2014 81% of Batswana think that Government officials are actively involved in corruption. In fact, just over 51% of the 1200 adults interviewed believe that corruption has increased over the last 12 months.

Two thirds of Batswana have also expressed support for a law on declaration of assets and liabilities for Government officials, MP's, and the President.

They also want the President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama who hardly appears before Parliament to attend Parliamentary sittings.

The law on declaration assets which is yet to be passed into law was proposed by the former Gaborone Lesgislator Dumelang Saleshando, in the wake of allegations of corruption that implicated senior Government officials.

The Bill was debated in Parliament but was never signed by the President into Law. The debate on proposed bill was resuscitated in late 2014, when the 11th Parliament commenced after October elections but was again abandoned.

"We should be worried by perceptions that officials are corrupt because they influence behaviour. It is a challenge for us at the DCEC to deal with these perceptions. We receive between 1500-2000 reports of corruption annually. Out of this number between 500-550 cases are investigated. It is clear that perceived corruption is higher than the real corruption," said Lentswe Motshoganetsi, Spokesperson for the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).

He said, "It can mean two things. We need to educate public to report actual corruption not perceived corruption. This might also mean that public has confidence in DCEC in taking on cases of corruption."

Motshoganetsi revealed most parastatals and Government Ministries have formed anti-corruption units, created anonymous tip off points and embraced anti-corruption policies showing fight against corruption is supported by key stakeholders across the country.

DCEC officials revealed incidents where some Batswana have reported cattle's grazing on another's land as corruption or reported a cheating spouse as an act of corruption to be further investigated by DCEC.

Increases in perceived corruption are most striking with regard to the Office of the President, rising by 29%(from 41% to 70%) between 2008 and 2014. An increase of 18% is observed with regard to MP's and Local Government Councillors between 2008 and 2014.

This perception of perceived corruption is higher among urban residents than semi-urban and rural dwellers. 68% say the Botswana Unified Revenue Service is corrupt and 62% perceive corruption to be entrenched amongst Judges and Magistrates.

The Afrobarometer researchers however dismissed concerns Batswana do not know what corruption is saying that this was an issue that was addressed in questions asked about personal experiences.

"People have come around to say that their perception of corruption is influenced by real life events. That they have had an experience where to get a service from the Government either they or a family member have had to pay a bribe," said Mpho Molomo, Professor of Political Studies at the University of Botswana(UB).

He said, "The research we conducted was in both the rural and urban areas. Organizations like Transparency International do not go to the deep rural areas where most people have problems accessing basic services such as Police, water. So our research is credible. This survey was not done amongst elites in town."

Afrobarometer is an African led, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa.

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