Fifteen percent of women in Zimbabwe who bribe use sex as a mode of payment, a Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) official has revealed.
This came out at the 2018 NGO Directors Summer School conducted by National Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (NANGO) in Bulawayo.
The summer school is running under the theme, Towards an inclusive Zimbabwe: A decade of strengthening multi-stakeholder engagements and partnerships.
According to TIZ, seventy percent of men bribe as compared to fifteen percent women but women bribe more using non-conventional ways, which most of the time go unreported.
“Women use what men do not have to bribe, that is sex,” said Farai Mutondoro, TIZ programmes officer.
“Women cannot go about reporting that they bribed in that way. A cross-border trader certainly would be divorced if she told her husband that she bribed that way,” he added.
Bribery by women goes across all areas, even in institutions of learning alluded Mutondoro.
“In institutions of higher learning, there is a term called sexually transmitted degrees and thigh for marks. That is when women use thighs as currency to bribe,” he said.
Mrs Ronika Mumbire from Zimbabwe Women’s Bureau concurred with the sentiments saying women who are mostly cross-border traders are exposed to situations where they are forced to bribe using their bodies.
“There is a higher number of women in the informal sector who go out of the country to buy their goods for resale. Some of these goods are not allowed at the border and these women end up paying through what men want (sex),” she said
Mutondoro also highlighted that people in Zimbabwe bribe because it is cheaper to bribe.
“People bribe because it’s cheaper. There are people who import second-hand clothes (bales) from Mozambique daily. The importation duty is $300 and these sellers make a profit of $50. They are left with no option but to bribe $5, which is cheaper,” he said.
He said the government has been managing instead of curbing corruption through the catch and release system.
“Since 2017, we have seen a new rampage to arresting people. We have seen the likes of Supa Mandiwandzira, Ignatius Chombo, Makhosini Hlongwane, Wicknel Chivayo to name a few being arrested for corruption and later released. This seems to be the policy response to a problem of corruption by government,” he said.