Mozambique: Nyusi Demands Action Against Corruption

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday demanded that the government of the central province of Zambezia, and managers of state institutions, must wage a more vigorous battle against corruption in the public sector.

He was speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the Zambezia provincial government, in the city of Mocuba, on the second day of a working visit to the province.

Nyusi expressed his appreciation for the good performance of the provincial government over the past five years, but insisted that the fight against corruption must be taken very seriously.

As examples of corrupt acts, he pointed to the falsification of academic certificates that occurs in some Zambezia institutions, the fraudulent award of contracts for state building jobs, illicit demands for money in return for access to public sector jobs, theft of medicines and undue use of medical material from the hospital in the provincial capital, Quelimane.

There were cases, Nyusi said, in which citizens were charged money against promises of employment, but the jobs never materialised.

Signatures were forged, he continued, in order to withdraw money from banks, or to speed up the processing of documents. There were cases of corruption inside the Mozambican Tax authority (AT), involving over-invoicing for the acquisition of certain goods.

Nyusi said that in Pebane district, he had found state building jobs abandoned by the contractors, after the latter had received large amounts of money from the government. He believed that this showed how deeply rooted corruption is inside the public administration.

No tough measures had been take to discourage contractors from leaving jobs unfinished, and Nyusi thought this showed that some public officials involved in awarding contracts were conniving with corrupt contractors.

In both Pebane and Mopeia districts, contractors had been paid in full to build district hospitals, but had not done the jobs

These contractors were disrespecting the representatives of the Mozambican state. "So they abandon the jobs, and you don't care", he told the meeting. "These people exist and we cross paths with them every day, bt nothing happens to them".

The President was revolted by the situation in Quelimane Central Hospital, where dishonest staff extort money from patients in exchange for medical treatment.

"A director or an administrator should be able to manage this type of attitude which happens in our services", he said. "Thefts in the hospitals, absenteeism in our services, generalised forgery of diplomas or certificates, clearly show how corruption is taking on worrying proportions".

He revealed that no fewer than seven district administrators in one province (which he did not name) are facing criminal proceedings concerning cases of corruption. "We've had enough of people abusing their office", he said

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