Land corruption project takes off

An anti-corruption movement established to foster the need for transparency and accountability in both the public and private sector Transparency International (TI) recently launched the Land Corruption Project.

The five-year project, funded by the German Federation, is expected to help scrutinise existing laws, identify loopholes and address them. 

The project will cover countries such  as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Uganda, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa, and is said to be helping with the technology.

According to Reuben Lifuka of Transparency International, they came up with the concept after realising that the  said countries have the same problem in land corruption, which is usually fuelled by bribery.

“We want to engage people in fighting corruption and also include women and youth on ways to access land without doing corruption.  Out of the corruption cases, one out of five of these cases are administration related,” said Lifuka. He added that they want to enhance access to justice by helping people access land without practicing corruption.

“We will train people on mechanisms to fight corruption, especially the urban planners as well as Land Board authorities,” said Lifuka. Lifuka said  every country would develop its own manifesto on ways to fight corruption.  Lifika said that Botswana was chosen to launch the project as it has done well in terms of land management.

“Research has shown that for the past five years, Botswana has been leading the regional rankings as one of the least corrupt countries. So we thought as countries we could learn about the good practices of the country and how they do it,” Lifika added. According to the 2014 Perception Index (CPI) Transparency International report, Botswana is leading sub-Saharan Africa with a score rate of 31 percent, which indicates that it is one of the cleanest countries.

This is despite Botswana ranking 63rd out of the 175 countries surveyed.

Cape Verde, Seychelles, Mauritius, Lesotho, Namibia, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa and Senegal follow Botswana. Swaziland came in 11th and Zambia took the 15th spot.

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