RE: “Bribery on the decrease – report” (The New Times, December 13).
It is strange that bribery is decreasing due to strict punitive measures in institutions such as Rwanda National Police, yet bribery remains a problem in traffic police. Does it mean police is able to contain bribery in other institutions but fails in its backyard? All in all bribery or corruption is a problem not only in public institutions, but also in private entities.
It was, however, not a surprise to find out that bribery is high among elites and the illiterate alike. The economics of corruption sheds light on why the situation is so. First, it is the elite that have a high opportunity cost for their time and, as such, have high incentives to pay bribe should the provider of service increase the time to provide the service(s).
Equally, the illiterate will provide bribe basically as they are not aware of what they are entitled to.
The solution to bribery will therefore start from analyzing the cause(s) and the form. It is imperative that we don’t kill the “form”, and instead kill the “cause”. For that is the long lasting solution to the problem.