Global face of corruption

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M Ziauddin,

One does not know whether to rejoice or be disappointed at Pakistan failing to reach the list of world’s top 20 most corrupt countries.
Compiled by Transparency International (August 3, 2018 newsletter) the nations with the highest levels of dishonest dealings in the public sphere appear to be doing very little to tackle the problems and some are actually perceived to be getting worse. The TI regards them as the most disreputable nations on the planet.
Cambodia makes doing business in the country a nightmare, as companies need to facilitate payments and gifts to all and sundry to get anything done.
Democratic Republic of the Congo has been mired in conflict for decades. Corruption is way of life in this country. There have been reports of military abuses of power.
The Republic of Congo is as corrupt as ever and crooked activities pervade the public sector. President Denis Sassou Nguesso continues to keep an iron grip on power, and government institutions are all-too susceptible to his malign interference.
Tajikistan is mired in bribery, cronyism and embezzlement of public money. Last April, a dozen officials from the nation’s anti-corruption agency were arrested for corruption.
Chad has done little to deal with corruption so far. Nepotism and cronyism are especially rife in the country, extortion and petty corruption pervade the police force, and bribery is ubiquitous in all areas of public life.
Eritrea has long been marred by severe corruption, which isn’t helped by an undeveloped legal, economic and political system, and no independent press. The people endure extreme poverty and have few human rights, and many risk everything to seek a better life elsewhere.
Angola is caught up in widespread government corruption, involving everything from entrenched cronyism to bribery. Majority of Angolans live on next to nothing.
Turkmenistan is now the joint 13th most corrupt country in the world. Power in the landlocked central Asian nation is concentrated in the hands of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who, along with his family, controls every aspect of public life with an iron fist.
Iraq is still a long way from being a safe, transparent nation. Maintaining a strong and stable government remains the country’s biggest challenge, with institutional reforms constantly delayed, as well as ongoing political infighting and deep-rooted corruption.
Venezuela continues to be ravaged by corruption. Bribery, theft of public money and nepotism are commonplace in government, and corruption permeates the police force and judiciary.
Equatorial Guinea is the joint 7th most corrupt country. While much of the population suffers extreme poverty, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and his family live like royalty. Last October, the president’s son, Teodorín was given a three-year suspended sentence by a French court for stealing millions of dollars in public money to fund his extravagant playboy lifestyle.
North Korea may be enjoying friendlier relations with the US, but corruption from the top down is a key feature of life here. Human rights are virtually non-existent. A crackdown on corrupt military officials has led to a rash of arrests, but this has more to do with supreme leader Kim Jong-un consolidating power rather than stamping out corruption.
Libya is ravaged by corruption. Political parties are backed by rival militia groups and continue to jostle for power, leaving the nation open to human traffickers, arms dealers and a corrupt military.
Sudan continues to be plagued by corruption. The conflict-ravaged country has a profound problem with bribery, cronyism and nepotism in particular, and entrepreneurs have to know the right people or pay off officials in order to get anything achieved.
Yemen’s brutal civil war has plunged the country into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and decimated the country’s economy, and deep-rooted corruption is hampering any meaningful attempts at recovery.
Afghanistan continues to deal with systemic corruption and the threat of Taliban violence. Family ties and tribal connections are especially strong in the country, making nepotism a massive issue. Bribery, graft and illegal land transfers are also endemic.
Syria remains a wholly corrupt country while it is led by president Bashar al-Assad. The president’s family and supporters control almost everything in the chaotic country, and are involved in myriad dubious dealings, from stealing aid money to trading in illegal arms.
South Sudan’s public officials have stolen untold amounts of public money and are only too willing to accept monetary payments and gifts. A textbook kleptocracy. Anti-corruption legislation isn’t enforced and wrongdoers are free to act in the knowledge they won’t be prosecuted for their crimes.
Somalia is the world’s most corrupt nation. Torn apart by rival warlords in the early 1990s, the current government is weak and a climate of lawlessness prevails, with almost every aspect of life in the country affected by rampant corruption.

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