27 March 2012

Mozambique: Corruption Alleged in Anti-Drugs Office

Maputo — The government of the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane has uncovered looting of the public treasury by the director of the Provincial Anti-Drugs Office, Calisto Alberto Tomo, according to reports on Radio Mozambique, and the Maputo daily "Noticias".

Tomo fell under suspicion as long ago as June 2010, when workers in the Anti-Drugs Office blew the whistle on him, and sent their denunciations to the provincial governor, Agostinho Trinta.

Acting on Trinta's orders, the administrative inspectorate of the Provincial Secretariat investigated the accusations and found that many of them were true. Among the abuses committed by Tomo, according to the report from the inspectors, was that he had ordered rent, and water and electricity bills to be paid for a house in which he was not living.

He also duplicated payments for his own travel costs. Thus for a trip to the northern province of Cabo Delgado he was given, in August 2009, an allowance of 17,000 meticais (620 US dollars) for a ten day stay. He received the same money for the same trip a second time in October and November of that year.

The inspectors, covering the period 2008-2010, found that Tomo, in collusion with the accountant in the Anti-Drugs Office, Recalda Guambe, had stolen over 260,000 meticais, and demanded that the money should be immediately repaid.

Trinta has sent the report from the inspectorate on to the Inhambane branch of the Anti-Corruption Office (GCCC). The director of the office, Arao Macuacua, confirmed he had received the report and told "Noticias" his staff were working to ascertain the degree of responsibility of the officials involved.

"We know what's going on in the Anti-Drugs Office", Macuacua said. "We are working with the report sent by the Governor's office to find out who did what and how they did it".

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