According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, “six in 10 Mauritians (61 percent) say that corruption has increased over the past year”. The figure is an improvement from 2014 (69 percent).
The survey also found that a majority of Mauritians believes that “some”, “most”, or “all” of the police (86 percent), government officials (80 percent), members of the national assembly (80 percent), local municipal/district councils (79 percent), and the prime minister and his office (77 percent) are involved in corruption”.
Moreover, 47 percent of respondents “agree/strongly agree” that “ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption”, a deterioration from June 2014 (56 percent). However, two-thirds (67 percent) of Mauritians believe that “ordinary people risk retaliation or other negative consequences if they report corruption to the authorities.”
Finally, more than six in 10 interviewees declare that it is “somewhat” or “very” likely that “a wealthy person could pay a bribe or use personal connections to avoid paying taxes (66 percent), avoid going to court (62 percent), or register land that does not belong to them (61 percent)”.
The findings were disclosed in StraConsult, Afrobarometer’s national partner’s, second press release on Thursday 15 February. In its first press release on 6 February, the consulting firm revealed that 73 percent of Mauritians mention unemployment as the most important issue that the government should address. Seventy-seven percent of Mauritians also find that democracy is preferable to any other system of government, a decline from the 82 percent of 2014.
More worryingly, the trust deficit in our leaders and institutions has soared. For instance, only 23 percent of respondents say they trust opposition parties (39 percent in 2014); only 24 percent trust the ruling Mouvement Socialiste Militant/Muvman Liberater coalition (49 percent trusted the previous government in June 2014); only 27 percent place confidence in the prime minister (54 percent trusted Navin Ramgoolam in June 2014); while only 31 percent trust the current president compared to 52 percent who trusted her predecessor.
The Afrobarometer is a pan–African, non–partisan research network which conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions and related issues in Africa. Data is collected through face–to–face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples. The 2017 survey is the third one following the 2012 and June 2014 surveys.