The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the existing theoretical and empirical literature on corruption perception.
2.1 Definitions
It is taken as a universal social issue faced by all the countries in the world, which is more common in developing countries, which need to fight (Altiner, 2016). Manjari (2017), says that corruption has become so common that people now are averse to thinking of public life with it. Transparency International (TI) considered corruption as a phenomenon that weakens government quality and efficiency of public policies and hinders the development of the country.
“Corruption is considered to be a deliberate abuse of power and resources to better as well as to give an unfair advantage to individuals or their families or acquaintances. Since public resources are diverted to unlawful private hands and benefits are taken away from the public through corruption, it is extremely devastating to society and a nation” (Kohli, 2015). The diversity of corruption makes it complex and difficult concept to define (Keita, 2011). Nevertheless, it is observed in the theoretical studies in which the factors contributing to corruption are researched that there exists a general acceptance that corruption is influenced by numerous factors (May, 2011). According to Anti-Corruption Indicators (2017), corruption is a complex concept which cannot be easily measured by just using a single variable and due to the fact that those who are involved in corruption are actively seeking to hide their behavior for fear of punishment. Corruption descriptions differ according to the needs of analysts, hence defining corruption is complex (Gorai, 2015). Corruption is derived from the Latin word – “corruptus” meaning “to break”. The Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines corruption as an act of dishonesty especially using bribery or an immoral or wicked act.
Corruption implies an unlawful gain for one at the expense of another, leading to intentional or accidental biases, although, Tanzi (2005) insisted that the bias has to be strictly intentional. According to him, accidental violation of the arm’s length principle because of, for example, imperfect information does not represent corruption. He further went on to argue that there must be some advantages for the individual who commits a violation of the arm’s length principle, otherwise, there is no corruption. To sum up all other definitions of corruption, it is a dishonest act, wrong and bad which is viewed as immoral and antithetical to the virtues of society, involving an abuse or misuse of position and authority to break the law for it deviates from the right.
2.2 Forms and classification of corruption
According to Moody-Stuart 1997:3 (as cited in Jiang (2017)), corruption is filled with a wild variety of corruption classifications. For instance, grand corruption takes place at highest levels of the political systems, such as president, ministers, and other top officials, and therefore involves substantial payoffs. Petty corruption occurs at low levels, such as public administrative department where citizens seek services (Perry 1997:1, as cited in Jiang, 2017).
For Alatas (1990: Chap. 3, as cited in Jiang (2017)), there are seven classes of corruption:
1. Autogenic corruption (benefits detrude from pre-knowledge of a given policy outcome).
2. Transactive corruption (mutual benefit through exchange between a donor and a recipient).
3. Excoriate corruption (to avoid “harm being inflicted on the donor”)
4. Defensive corruption (a person in need of something is compelled to pay bribe otherwise his interest would suffer).
5. Supportive corruption (the activity undertaken to protect existing corruption)
6. Investive corruption (activities for a fulltime reward in view)
7. Nepotistic corruption (equivalent to favoritism).
There is a widespread notion that corruption is about receiving money. This form of corruption is most often and is thus referred to as bribery but it is not the only type. Corruption equally occurs where there are similar gains such as expensive gifts or various favors returned.
2.3 Global Perspective on Corruption
Corruption is a global phenomenon. It is not the exclusive preserve of any nation, race or section of the world but transcends national boundaries and frontiers and symbolizes phenomenal universal unwholesomeness politically (Aluko, 2009, as cited in David, 2012).
According to Klitgaard (1988); Shleifer and Vishny (1993); Mauro (1995); Bardhan (1997), as cited in Saha (2009), says that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, corruption has increasingly come to affect the economic performance of nations, especially the developing countries. Most of the studies done on corruption highlights the harmful effects of corruption on the growth of the economy. Corruption has been identified as one of the major obstacles to the economic and social development of the countries (Lofgren, 2012).
The former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, had asserted that corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development and undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services. Corruption is also known to be a major obstacle in poverty alleviation and development.
Corruption costs dearly to a nation as it leads to a loss of public confidence in the integrity of government and its institutions. Once corruption takes root it hurts the nation economically as well as socially as it leads to infinite political, social and economic disparities in the society (Kohli, 2015). Corruption has been recognized as a global concern and a number of international treaties and conventions have been adopted against it (Kohli, 2015). There are some prominent international non-political agencies who are keeping watch on worldwide corrupt practices. Corruption brews vast socioeconomic and law and order problems in a country. It undermines the revenue of a government and adversely affects a government’s ability to invest in productivity-enhancing areas.
Significantly a corrupt state becomes a failed state and finally threat for the international community as it turns into a breeding place for terrorism, money laundering, narcotics trade, human trafficking and other global crimes (Kohli, 2015).
2. 4 African perspectives on corruption
Recent research by Transparency International and Afrobarometer 2009 (as cited in Githongo, 2016) on the experiences and perceptions of Africans in 28 countries regarding corruption indicates that a majority (58%) felt that corruption had increased over the last 12 months. And in 18 of the 28 countries, citizens felt their governments were doing badly in the fight against corruption.
Githongo (2016) continues “in environments where corruption is systemic but lacks cultural resonance, creating a climate where social sanction can be applied against corrupt practices has been challenging. The whole approach to corruption needs to be re-examined: from local cultural assumptions and preconceptions to the legal conventions, constitutions, statutes and, especially, the prosecution-related instruments brought to bear on it at the national and global levels (Githongo, 2016) proposed. Integral to this are the principles of legal authority and equality before the law. The equality component is essential. The rule of law must be seen to apply equally to all citizens without fear or favor, regardless of race, creed or class.
The following are complementary but separate factors in a society are critical: culture, ethos, ethics and traditions, and legal processes and practices (Githongo, 2016). Each derives its legitimacy from history and the traditional ways in which meaning is made.
2.5 Namibian Perspective on Corruption
More than half of Namibians think corruption in the country is very high, while 64 percent feel that it is not acceptable for a leader to acquire wealth through corruption. This is according to the latest urban corruption perception report compiled by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) after a survey carried out in all 13 political regions during March 2011 (Sasman, 2012).
ACC annual report 2016 shows that the Ministry of Finance was perceived as the most corrupt (11.6 percent), followed by Home Affairs (9,9%), Safety and Security (9.6 percent), Education (8.2 percent), Defence (8 percent), and Works and Transport (5,7 percent). Perceived to be least corrupt are the Office of the Auditor General and the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (both at 0.1 percent), the Office of the President (0.3 percent), Office of the Prime Minister and the ACC both at 0.4 percent, and Parliament at 0.5 percent.
Those professions viewed as least corrupt are parliamentarians (3.2 percent), lawyers (3.6 percent), and business people (3.8 percent). Poverty and poor pay are perceived as most contributing factors to corruption, NSPC report 2016. The ACC reported that it effectively investigated 297 reports of alleged corrupt practices during the 2011/12 financial year (Sasman, 2018). During that period, it referred 55 cases to the office of the Prosecutor General with recommendations for prosecution (Sasman, 2018).
President Pohamba in his inauguration statement on March 21, 2005, declared “zero tolerance on corruption” by promising the nation that his Government will fight corruption tooth and nail, without fear or favor. This tell us that corruption has been prevailing in the country and is going day by day. Sasman, 2018 says that Namibia lack methodology and procedures that should be followed to execute properly the anti-corruption campaign.
(Sasman, 2018) says that the situation throughout the country today is going from bad to worse. Poor Government services, incompetence, maladministration, poor financial management, lack of transparency, lack of professionalism, nepotism, tribalism, poor morale, and ethical practices are, to mention but a few, clear indications showing that the ACC needs urgent assistance from all of us to consolidate focus on the needs of the nation (The solution to corruption in Namibia, 2007″). Corruption is the culmination of all the negative practices and the ACC cannot uproot corruption in this country unless they address the root causes of corruption (Sasman, 2018). Yet, no study was undertaken to see if the households with the same demographic and socioeconomic characteristics have the same perception of corruption in Namibia.
2.6 Socio-Demographic Factors Affecting Corruption
The factors influencing perception of individual towards corruption and demographics associated with the individuals is one of such factors (Caner, 2018). Additionally, Caner (2018) confirm that there is a correlation between the demographics of households and their perception towards corrupt acts. In his study Demographic Factors Affecting Perception of Corruption, proved that women in comparison to men, women are tolerant towards corrupt acts. However, Ivanka (2017) in his study Do Demographics Matter, proved otherwise that men perceive more corruption than women.
Colvin (2004), as cited in Burke (2009) advocate the view that the origins of corruption can vary from society to society, (Caner, 2018) even in the same society over time. Study done by Valev (2004) using the World Values Survey Wave during the period 1995-1997, pointed out that citizens of different age groups do perceive corruption differently. Conversely, Ivanka (2017) find out that there was no statistically significant difference in perceptions toward corruption scores between the age groups. In addition respect to levels of income Ivanka (2017), pointed out that people who have average or high salaries perceive more corruption than people who make less money