7 November 2017

Mozambique: President Calls On Legal System to Fight Corruption

President Filipe Nyusi on 6 November demanded of the bodies of the administration of justice that they carry out to the full their responsibility to detect and to punish, in exemplary fashion, corrupt officials.

The President was speaking at the annual commemorations of "Legality Day", when representatives of the judicial system visited him at the presidential offices.

President Nyusi said that corruption brings discredit on the capacity and will of public servants to give the best of themselves for a better Mozambique. He added that the struggle against corruption is a struggle for legality and for compliance with the norms and procedures instituted by law for the management of public assets. This struggle was urgent, he insisted, because an act of corruption does not merely affect the institution where it occurs, but the entire state apparatus. Corruption deprives the state of the resources it needs to build the welfare and progress of the people.

President Nyusi said it is the responsibility of all Mozambicans to fight against corruption and to encourage good practices. More is demanded of the bodies of the administration of justice because these are the institutions with the tasks of ensuring compliance with the laws, and holding offenders responsible for their acts.

Officials in these institutions, the President warned, can only play their roles effectively if they refrain from acts of corruption. "Only a judiciary that is itself totally immune to the violation of the laws can be active in defending the laws", he declared.

"Our goal is to eliminate the trend to temptation and the poisoned incentives for deviant behaviour and for disturbances of public order", said the President. "But if there persists conduct that violates legality, then justice should be exemplary in ascertaining responsibilities and in applying sanctions".

The legal system must not only prosecute and try criminals, but must itself be an example of integrity and honesty. If it honours its responsibilities, President Nyusi added, then the administration of justice will contribute decisively to re-establishing citizens' trust in the State.

The President also urged a preventive approach rather than simply repressing corruption. For repression, while necessary, he said, bears witness to the system's failure to prevent corruption.

"Repression is the public expression of our failure in implementing the laws which enshrine the anti-corruption policies and strategies we have designed", stressed President Nyusi.


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