The declining Zimbabwean economy has resulted in corruption reaching epidemic proportions. There is a high tolerance for it in society as it is seen as the only way to get timely service or any service at all especially in the public sector which is infested with petty corruption. Through some examples this paper reveals that in the education, health, justice, transport and custom sectors it is common to find public servants charging extra for services, seeking small favours, or using pubic facilities and materials for their own marginal personal gain. Payment of a bribes is now a normal and accepted way of doing business and is no longer viewed by most as an immoral act. Whilst the causes of this petty or bureaucratic corruption can be easily identified it is important to understand the nature and culture of corruption, how it moves from one level to the next. This paper uses an agency model of corruption whose setup has been widely cited and serves as a foundation for empirical research and policy design to combat bureaucratic corruption to show that the public officials rationally make a choice to be corrupt by weighing key determinants which are, the return of corruption against public wage levels, the penalty and probability of being detected. Paying particular attention to the customs sector this paper uses the multi-equilibria model by Andvig and Moene, (1989) “How corruption may corrupt” to show that the increase in the bribe price in the short-run beyond a certain level may result in a shift to a high level corruption equilibrium which is reversible if the bribe price decreases beyond a certain level. However in the long-run this reversal may be difficult and the sector may be stuck in the high level corruption equilibrium. The ratchet effects of corruption in both the supply and demand may result in its continuity and movement towards full corruption in some parts of the customs sector.