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Cameroon rated highly corrupt again

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A Transparency International, TI, report has placed Cameroon at the 153rd position in a rating of 180 least corrupt countries in the world. This position is contained in a Transparency International 2017 corruption perception index, published on February 22.

The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people, uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43.

In the report, Cameroon got a score of 25 out of 100. The report indicates that the fight against corruption has not moved an inch since Cameroon dropped from 145th in last ratings to 153 this time.

Going by Cameroon TI officials, the drop reveals inadequacy in government reforms undertaken, despite various anti-corruption mechanisms.

Observers hold that it is still very difficult to fight corruption in a country where the judiciary is not independent. That is why many dismiss the current anti-corruption drive by Government as a big joke. They hold that Government is only playing to the gallery without real political will to fight the cankerworm. It was in this perspective that the TI officials, wondered why Government was shying away from implementing Article 66 of the constitution that provides for the declaration of assets. According to activists, if Article 66 is implemented, it will be a deterrent to public officials who line their private pockets with public funds.

Cameroon, it should be recalled, was rated twice, in 1999 and 2000, as the most corrupt country in the world. It was after this rating that Government decided to give an unprecedented twist to the fight against corruption. During a meeting in which the 2011 CONAC report was launched, it was revealed that close to 50 percent of State funds go into private pockets through acts of corruption.

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