According to the BBC, Transparency International (TI) has given Rwanda a bribery prevalence of 6.6%, the lowest in East Africa. Good news, right? Not really. All this report goes to show is that any measure of corruption is inevitably a mug’s game. Corruption, by its very nature, is hidden and, thus, impossible to measure. While bribery may be down, that does not mean an overall reduction in political corruption or the abuse of power. As the article goes on to state, Rwanda ranks so low because it is, in effect, a police state where power has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of President Kagame. And with allies like the US, UK, and powerful lobbyists in Washington, Kagame has faced almost no criticism from Western leaders. This despite the fact that the run-up to the presidential election in August has seen Kagame clamp down on dissent to the point that one journalist, critical of the regime, was assassinated last month. So for TI to come out and give the impression that Rwanda’s leaders deserve praise, and for the BBC to run a headline as misleading as “Rwanda almost ‘corruption free’,” just adds fuel to an already dangerous situation.

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