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Friday, 6 November 2009

The financial cost of corruption..

A key challenge of tackling public theft in Zambia is simply understanding its scale. The general public certainly has a sense of where public money has been stolen, but it appears they are missing key information on the extent of corruption. In practice there remains significant vacuum of information on the extent of such theft since Zambia became independent in 1964. There’s no universal agreement or public record of how much public money has been stolen or misappropriated since independence. The most authoritative estimate to date was undertaken by Djokotoe & Chama (2007), which puts an annual loss of around K350bn through either misappropriation, theft of extreme mismanagement.

But that figure relies solely on the information gleaned from the many Auditor General's reports between 1984 and 2004. The actual losses to the State of Zambia are likely to be much larger because the Auditor General is incapable of auditing every institution annually, so many losses remain undisclosed. More importantly, these figure would exclude grand theft ("ZAMTROP"). We should therefore treat the K350bn figure as a minimum annual cost. There's a PHd subject lurking here somewhere for a bright (and very brave) Zambian student - we need new estimates!

1 comment:

  1. Rwanda has negligible corruption:


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