On September 18, 2023, the host of Onua Maakye morning show, Blessed Godsbrain Smart, popularly known as Captain Smart, said that corruption is lower in Vietnam than in any other country in the world.
According to Captain Smart, the military in Vietnam called on the Vietnamese president to tackle widespread corruption in the country. In the face of the president’s inaction, he expalined on the show that, the Vietnamese army took matters into their own hands and decisively addressed corruption by decapitating anyone found to be corrupt.
He made the claim while speaking about military takeovers in other African countries due to hardship and bad leadership. This was in response to a statement by the Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) that the GAF would not support a coup in Ghana.
He added that the military needed to help relieve Ghanaians of the economic hardship in the country.
Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and finds it to be false.
Claim: “…As I speak to you now, if you like just google, corruption is lower in Vietnam than in any country in this world.”
Explanation: A Google search of the key phrases, “the least corrupt country in the world” and “is Vietnam the least corrupt country in the world?” did not show any results indicating Vietnam is the least corrupt country in the world. Instead, most results (here, here, here and here ) showed Denmark as the least corrupt country in the world.
Vietnam’s performance on Corruption Perception Indexes
The Corruption Perception (CPI) Index by Transparency International is a recognised and widely used indicator of corruption globally. It serves as a ‘litmus test’ of how citizens perceive the level of corruption in public office annually. The CPI scores and ranks countries on a scale of 0-100 where zero is the highest corruption perception and 100 is no corruption perception.
In the latest Corruption Perception Index, Vietnam ranked 77th out of 180 countries globally with a score of 42/100. An improvement from its 87th position in 2021 (39/100) and 104th in 2020 (36/100).
The Global Corruption Barometer is a survey conducted by Transparency International to gauge public opinion and experiences regarding corruption worldwide. In the most recent publication of the Global Corruption Barometer, 64 per cent of Vietnamese thought government corruption is a big problem while 15 per cent said they had paid a bribe in the previous 12 months.
A corruption perception index by World Economics converts ranking data by Transparency International into an index from 0-100 where 0 is absolute corruption and 100 is no perception of corruption. On this index, Vietnam was ranked 46.7
The Global Corruption Index (GCI) covers 196 countries and territories and measures the state of corruption and white-collar crimes around the world. Country scores are presented on a 0-100 scale, where 0 corresponds to the lowest risk and 100 to the highest risk. Vietnam ranked 131 with a score of 131 making it a highly corrupt country.
From the data above, it is clear that Vietnam is not the least corrupt country in the world. This makes the claim by Captain Smart false.