Maputo — The chairperson of the Business Council (CEP) in the central Mozambican province of Zambezia, Chaupal Naparia, on Monday warned that corruption is holding back investment.
Speaking in the provincial capital, Quelimane, at a ceremony marking International Anti-Corruption Day, Naparia said corruption reduces the possibility of forming a cohesive and robust business class that can create jobs and generate socio-economic development in Zambezia.
"Corruption is an evil that does not guarantee property rights, and destroys incentives for investment", he said, warning that corruption leads to increased poverty, creates asymmetries and gnaws at the image and prestige of the state, causing the loss of ethical standards of governance.
Nonetheless, Naparia said that private business will do all in its power to denounce corrupt practices that undermine the business environment.
The representative in Mozambique of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Cesar Guedes, told the ceremony "Corruption affects people's daily lives, and prevents them from gaining access to resources and opportunities. By nibbling away at trust in public institutions and compromising the social contract, corruption frustrates our project to build a better world.
Guedes claimed that, over the past 15 years, there has been notable progress in the criminalisation of corruption and the recovery of assets, thanks to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which entered into force in 2005, and has been ratified by 186 countries.
He said that UNODC is helping the international community to translate the convention into effective action, and advance the global anti-corruption agenda. Part of this work is preparing a United Nations special summit against corruption to be held in 2021.
"We need to hear the voices of young people who are demanding transparency and progress and who are working proactively in their communities", Guedes added.
"We cannot allow corruption to threaten our future", he declared. "If we remain united against corruption, we are defending justice, protecting the rule of law, and increasing the chances that prosperity in our societies can be shared by all".