Maputo — Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Thursday declared that the fight against corruption "continues to occupy a prominent position on our agenda, in order to guarantee good governance and accountability in the public administration".
Speaking in the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, at the end of a two day debate on the General State Account (CGE) for 2017, Rosario said the government has been strengthening control mechanisms and systems for managing public assets in order to fight corruption and promote greater transparency.
He argued that the government cannot combat corruption on its own, and "each of us must make a contribution through attitudes and actions that discourage, prevent and fight corruption, an evil which undermines and holds back the development of our country".
Rosario claimed that, since the start of the computerisation of the state financial management system (e-SISTAFE), "we have been recording improvements in the mechanisms for managing public finance, implementing public expenditure, administering state assets and managing human resources".
The implementation of e-SISTAFE, he said, had allowed greater transparency, and had made it possible to eliminate "ghost workers", so that the state only pays wages to people who really are employed by the state.
One of the key criticisms made by the Administrative Tribunal in auditing the CGE was that the government has no real control over the activities of the companies exploiting hydrocarbons and other mineral resources, and no means of checking the figures given by the companies for production or for exports.
Rosario recognised that this poses a major challenge, and promised "to improve the audit procedures, so as to ensure verification of the costs associated with the operations under way, and declared by the operators in the areas of petroleum, gas and minerals".
As for the country's debt, Rosario did not mention the possibility of cancelling as illicit the debts incurred by the three fraudulent, security-related companies Proindicus, Ematum (Mozambique Tuna Company) and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management).
Instead, he repeated the government's pledge to work with the creditors "to find solutions which safeguard the country's interests", and "to ensure that the public debt returns to sustainable parameters".