Transparency International has on December 1, 2015 issued its Global Corruption Barometer, People and Corruption: African Survey 2015.
In general, “Corruption on the rise in Africa poll as governments seen failing to stop it”, and Sierra Leone is deep in the RED.
A majority of Africans perceive corruption to be on the rise and think that their government is failing in its efforts to fight corruption; and many also feel dis-empowered as regards to taking action against corruption. In Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia and Ghanaian citizens are the most negative about the scale of corruption in their country.
According to the survey, 69% of Sierra Leoneans believe that government is doing badly in the fight against corruption, while 19% believe government is doing well. The survey specifically cites corruption in the Ebola crisis management.
Excerpts of the report is below:
Corruption and the Ebola crisis
From March 2014 to November 2015, around 11,300 people have died from the Ebola outbreak. The West African countries Liberia and Sierra Leone were the worst hit. With studies showing that corruption contributed to the slow and weak government responses to the crisis, tackling the rampant corruption should be considered a priority, to ensure that services can better handle such crises in the future.
The survey found that in both of these countries there are very high bribery rates and the public sector is perceived to be affected by extensive levels of corruption compared with many other countries in the region. High levels of corruption may have hampered these countries’ responses to the Ebola crisis by illicitly diverting resources away from essential healthcare services in the years preceding the crisis. Relief funds which were dispersed to halt the spread of Ebola may also have been mismanaged, as found in an internal audit report released by the Sierra Leonean Auditor General in February 2015.
There have also been some claims that Liberians were so distrustful of their government that they believed reports about Ebola had been fabricated to enable government employees to enrich themselves from aid from foreign donors and to embezzle funds from the World Health Organisation. This may have caused critical delays in the first response to the crisis.