27 June 2017

Mozambique: Zambezia Governor Angered By Corruption

Maputo — The governor of the central Mozambican province of Zambezia, Abdul Razak, has expressed revulsion at the spread of corruption in the province, reports Tuesday's issue of the independent daily “O Pais”.

Corruption has spread into the heart of the Zambezia provincial government itself. Investigations by local prosecutors have led to the resignation of the provincial directors of agriculture and of education, Marcelo Chaquisse and Armindo Primeiro respectively.

“We are detecting situations concerning corruption and maladministration of public funds involving various spheres of the public administration and of private bodies in our province”, Razak told reporters in the provincial capital, Quelimane, on Sunday. “The cases that involve government cadres greatly concern us”.

The government, he added, did not intend to throw its staff out of their jobs, “but it is fundamental that people should pay for their acts”.

Razak said he has urged those working with him to behave with integrity. “At each meeting I have with the provincial directors, I always take care to reiterate the need for transparent management and the principle of integrity, so that they do not stain our government”, he said.

The case of Chaquisse is still at the stage of preliminary investigation by the Zambezia Attorney's office, while that of Primeiro is more advanced and has been sent for trial by the Zambezia Provincial Court.

Primeiro's case concerns the award without any public tender, of a contract for three million meticais (about 50,000 US dollars, at current exchange rates) to rehabilitate the House of Culture in the coastal district of Chinde.

Primeiro is accused of a swindle whereby a contractor was paid in full for a job that was never even begun.

According to prosecutors, the entire sum was paid to the contractor, and the directorate claimed the job had been completed. However, it had not even started, and the Chinde House of Culture is still awaiting rehabilitation.

The public prosecutor is charging Primeiro with illicit participation in business and abuse of his office. Five of his staff in the directorate are also charged, as is the contractor - but he has disappeared.


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