9 May 2017

Mozambique: Petitions Commission Complains of Lack of Funds

Maputo — The Petitions Commission of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Tuesday complained that it is running out of money.

Presenting a report on the petitions sent by citizens to the Assembly between July 2016 and April 2017, the Commission's chairperson, Viana Magalhaes, said it had been unable to look into 14 of the petitions for lack of funds.

The Petitions Commission is rarely able to solve problems presented by citizens - but it can investigate the complaints, formulate opinions on them, and channel them to other relevant state institutions.

Magalhaes asked for more resources for the Commission, saying that otherwise it will not merit the trust of citizens. Despite the financial constraints, he believed that the Commission “complied with the objectives laid down for the first half of 2017”.

In the period under consideration, the Commission had analysed 138 petitions. 105 of these were new complaints, while 33 followed up earlier petitions.

The Commission's report recognized that both public and private bodies had responded quickly when approached about complaints and grievances, and had provided explanations “which allowed us to advance in clearing up cases”.

The Commission wanted to make further enquiries, said Magalhaes - but the petitioners were scattered across the country and contacting them would need money.

Other Commission members complained that the lack of money had made it impossible to exchange experiences with other countries.

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