Zambia’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score has improved for the first time in 10 years by four points, from 33 out of 100 in 2022 to 37 out of 100 in 2023, and improved the global ranking by 18 places, from 116 in 2022 to 98 in 2023, signifying a positive trajectory in combating corruption.

Officiating at the CPI report launch yesterday, Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary-Administration Mrs. Thandiwe Daka Oteng welcomed the encouraging findings from the 2023 CPI, indicating an improvement in Zambia’s score and emphasized the government’s unwavering stance against the pervasive threat of corruption. 

“This milestone reflects the government’s relentless pursuit of zero-tolerance to corruption, commitment to enhancing good governance and accountability; the fight against corruption remains a crucial policy agenda since the inception of this administration,” she said.

Mrs. Oteng highlighted key measures taken by the government, including the launch of “Project Recovery” to retrieve illicitly obtained assets, establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Court for swift dispensation of corruption cases, and the enactment of the Access to Information Act No. 24 of 2023 to enhance transparency.

Speaking at the report launch, ACC Director-General Thom Trevor Mr. Shamakamba expressed delight at Zambia’s latest CPI score. He attributed improvement to a series of factors, including Judicial Reforms that saw the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Court, which played a pivotal role in enhancing justice, ensuring that those engaged in corrupt individuals.

 Mr. Shamakamba said the Commission was also working with the Judiciary to ensure smooth operationalization of the Criminal Procedure Code to facilitate the completion of corruption and financial crimes cases within five months. Mr. Shamakamba highlighted that the establishment of Integrity Committees was instrumental in implementing integrity mechanisms in workplaces, such as gift policies, whistleblower mechanisms, and service charters. Further, he noted that the involvement of the private sector in the fight against corruption was significant in developing anti-corruption and bribery mechanisms aimed at fostering a fair and just business environment that promotes integrity in economic activities. 

Mr. Shamakamba said the Commission was developing a Bill on Asset Declaration for all public office bearers aimed at enhancing transparency in public officers and strengthening. 

“You may wish to know that the Commission is reviewing the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012 with a view to putting in place stiffer penalties for corrupt practices.”

Further, the ACC is set to launch the online anonymous whistleblowing system next month, complementing existing platforms. A review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act of 2010 is also underway to strengthen legal protections for whistleblowers.

Mr. Shamakamba urged continued vigilance and commitment to the ongoing battle against corruption. He reaffirmed the ACC’s dedication to investigating and prosecuting corruption cases and called for continued collaboration among government bodies, civil society organizations, the private sector, and citizens to build upon the successes reflected in the improved CPI score.

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