Corruption in Madagascar according to the Tananarivians: confessions and resignation

05/02/2019. Frankly, corruption in Madagascar seems to have become a necessary evil given our usually petty way of doing things. With, on the one hand, the slowness of the administrative machine that pushes people to bribe to get what they are normally entitled to and, on the other hand, the famous “mandoa tapany mba ahazoana erany”, it is surprising that corruption flourishes here like wild thistle on the roadside.

We then asked 904 Tananarivians for their opinion on this, and we even asked them if they had ever engaged in the reprehensible practice of bribery. Below are their answers!

The level of corruption in Madagascar: rising or falling?

First observation: 83% of the Tananarivians surveyed believe that the level of corruption in Madagascar is very high. 11% said it was high, while 5% refrained from revealing their opinion.

Then, when asked about their perception of the evolution of corruption over the last 5 years in Madagascar, 66% of respondents said it has got much worse. However, for 19% of them, it seems that it has decreased a lot.

Next, 5% find that the phenomenon of corruption has remained unchanged, 4% say they don’t know and another 4% think it has gotten a little worse. Finally, for the remaining 2%, corruption in Madagascar has eased somewhat over the past 5 years.

Corruption in the private sector

With the public service’s sulphurous reputation for corruption, little is said about the private sector. Fortunately, the Stileex team is keeping a watchful eye on things :).

59% of respondents say they have heard or seen proven acts of corruption in the private sector.

On the other hand, 40% have never heard or seen proven acts of corruption in the private sector.
On the other hand, 40% have never heard or seen proven acts of corruption in the private sector.

For the rest, 70% of Tananarivians think that the level of corruption in the private sector is very high. Then, for 13%, it is high and only 5% said it was very low. Finally, 2% consider the level of corruption to be low, and another 2% consider it to be quite high. It should be noted that 8% of the respondents did not declare anything.

Further investigation of the subject revealed that corruption is most prevalent in the administrative and financial departments of companies. In fact, this sector includes the acts of corruption seen and heard by 47% of the respondents concerned. The commercial department follows closely, with 36% of the votes, tied with human resources (also 36%). Last (which is a good thing here) is the private sector technical services, pointed out by only 2% of the votes.

Corruption in the public sector

It is in the public sector that corruption is most evident in Madagascar. It emerged from the survey that, hold on to your hat, 93% of Tananarivians have already seen or heard proven acts of corruption in the public sector!

In fact, the level of corruption in this sector is perceived as very high by a large majority of respondents: 85%! For the rest, 8% find it high, 6% do not take a stand and 1% find it quite high.

Bakchich quand tu nous tiens
Bakchich quand tu nous tiens

Let’s get to the heart of the matter and let’s now look at the most corrupt public services according to the Tananarivians. Who, according to you, is the public service that won 61% of the votes, thus becoming the most corrupt public service in the place? The police! Of course, we are talking about 61% of the people surveyed who have seen or heard of proven cases of corruption in the public service. Of course.

After the tide, justice, 37% of the votes, and the gendarmerie, 34%. The fokontany and the communes follow them closely, “elected” by 25% of those who have witnessed acts of corruption.

The distribution of responses among the other services is then more and more fragmented, see for yourself:

  • 18% of the respondents concerned have already seen or heard proven cases of corruption in public universities.
  • 16% noticed it at the level of land services (more crudely known as the barbaric “domain”)
  • 12% denounce the flagrant corruption in the major public schools such as ENMG, ENAM, INFA, …
  • 10% highlight military corruption
  • 9% found corruption at the PPE/CEG/Lycée level
  • 5% claim to have seen corruption at JIRAMA
  • 4%, at the level of the Tax Department
  • 2% denounce corruption in administrative offices such as ministries
  • finally 1% saw some in public health services

What more can be said about this survey on corruption in Madagascar?

What more can be said, except that corruption in Madagascar is most concentrated in the public sector. At least, that is what our survey shows: 93% of Tananarivians have already witnessed, directly or indirectly, proven acts of corruption in the public sector.

If the police have been identified as the most corrupt public service, I guess it’s the small bribes that are handed out in traffic, on the road, and even in the competitive exams for entry into the industry. Moreover, given that a civil service position is highly prized (admittedly, one is more interested in the benefits than in anything else), corruption in the various administrative competitions has almost become a routine procedure.

Who hasn't witnessed this kind of scene?
Who hasn’t witnessed this kind of scene?

Let’s not forget also the slowness so characteristic of the administration with some civil servants who only show up at 10 am and leave at 3 pm… We must admit that this is what slows down everything in the fokontany, the communes, the ministries, etc… It’s not surprising then that the crowd, frustrated to be in line all the time, allows itself to pay a little extra to make it happen faster. And while we’re on the subject, it turned out that 57% of the people we surveyed admitted to having already committed an act of corruption.

Not too surprisingly, the reasons for his actions are mainly related to the slow pace of service, as 36% told us they did it to speed things up. Then, 32% told us that they took out a ticket because it had simply been imposed on them! For 22%, it was to obtain an advantage or a document and, finally, for 8%, it was to avoid a penalty. It should be noted that 2% of the people who had already taken a bribe did not want to comment on the reason for their actions.

Our corrupt state has long been confirmed by Transparency International‘s Corruption Perception Index (CPI): in 2018, Madagascar scored 25 points out of 100 and is ranked 152nd out of 180 countries. It should be noted, however, that the CPI measures corruption at the public sector level using 7 different data sources for the case of Madagascar. Reportedly, Madagascar gained 1 point and 3 places more in 2018 compared to the 2017 results. This is good, but there is still room for a decline in corruption.

Fighting corruption in Madagascar together
Fighting corruption in Madagascar together

Personally, I have already had to commit an act of corruption, while being well aware that it did not fit in with the legal process. It was to obtain a form in a selection of files at the University of Antananarivo. In reality, I was swindled: for 1,000 ar, I felt advantaged to have obtained a form that I thought was out of print while there were still some and that, in addition, it could be withdrawn free of charge. Absurd, isn’t it?


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