Transparency International published their latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) data and report last week. It draws on data from a number of surveys to assess how corrupt each country is perceived to be.
I’ve taken a look at the data, and there are some interesting insights in here.
I have two charts for you. The first simply shows each country’s CPI score since 2012, for Tanzania and all her neighbours, plus a handful of other comparable countries – Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia and Botswana. Continue reading →
Presidents Kikwete of Tanzania and Banda of Malawi
President Joyce Banda of Malawi is in a pickle. A corruption scandal has emerged on her watch, and she’s under pressure from all sides, quite possibly through no fault of her own. In fact, it may even be the case that she finds herself in this mess precisely because she has done something not far from the right thing.
So what happened?
A few weeks ago, an environment ministry official was found with £190,000 in the boot of his car, then the Budget Director – said to be on the verge of blowing the whistle – was shot three times outside his home. According to the Telegraph (not my usual source, but they were given an interview by Banda), 68 people have been arrested in the ensuing investigation, including the Ministers of Finance and Justice. The Minister of Justice has been charged with attempted murder of the Budget Director. The President has cleared out her cabinet, and said that about 30% of the country’s budget could have been stolen over the past decade. Thirty percent. Continue reading →
Paul Theroux’s new novel, The Lower River, takes us on a journey to the very south of Malawi. Ellis Hock is our guide – our eyes and our ears – on his return to the village where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer, 40 years earlier, a time and a place where he had been happy. But the place has changed and his return visit quickly spirals out of control.
It’s a riveting read, fast paced and tense. As a thriller, it thrills. Reviews have generally been very positive.
But I wasn’t able to just accept it as a gripping tale of a journey that went horribly wrong. Too much of the context was misleading or simply wrong. It did not ring true. Continue reading →