Mozambique: PM Points to Advances in Fight Against Corruption

Maputo — Quelimane (Mozambique), 10 Dec (AIM) - Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario declared on Monday that there have been positive results in the government's efforts to prevent and fight against corruption, thanks to the activities of the internal control units in public institutions and to inspections without prior warning.

Speaking in the central city of Quelimane, during an event to mark International Anti-Corruption Day, Rosario said that over the past two years about 2,000 disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against state employees. In addition to lesser disciplinary measures, 309 of these people have been sacked, or have been expelled from the state apparatus.

Despite these results, the government thinks there is still a long way to go, since cases of corruption are still occurring, with severe consequences for the Mozambican economy.

The government is therefore, Rosario continued, implementing a series of norms and measures which, it is hoped, will inhibit practices damaging to the public administration. These norms and measures include the Strategy to Reform and Develop the Public Administration, the Plan of Action for the Fight against Corruption, publicising the Code of Conduct of government office holders, and the establishment of nuclei to prevent and combat corruption in schools and health units.

They also include implementation of the integrated information system for the management of human resources, the consolidation of the Single Attendance Counters to facilitate the access of citizens to more services in the same place and in a short period of time, implementation of the Law on Public Probity, and consolidation of the payment of wages electronically as part of "e-SISTAFE" (the electronic version of the State Financial Administration System).

While implementing these instruments, Rosario continued, the government has been banking on greater intervention by the internal control units, particularly in the areas which have the greatest impact on the life of the population, notably health units, schools, registration and notary services, the issuing of identity cards, passports and driving licences, and land use rights.

The Prime Minister said that such government actions "are increasing transparency and accountability, in accordance with the norms of professional ethics".

Rosario also envisaged new technological tools "that will allow the digitalisation of public services that can be requested anywhere that is connected to the Internet". He believed this will make the provision of services quicker and more transparent, and will rationalise the physical and financial efforts made by citizens in the search for public services.

Rosario said these tools will facilitate monitoring and inspection, and thus reduce the space for corruption.

But he also recognised that an effective fight against corruption is only possible with the involvement of all of society, behaving honestly and respecting the law.

"To have a society free of corruption, we must transmit values in educating our children, in the family, at school and in society in general, teaching them to work and earn their living honestly, and without resorting to fraudulent means", said Rosario. "Only if everybody is involved will we have the success we desire in preventing and fighting corruption".

Addressing the same Quelimane event, Fernando Goncalves, the chairperson of the Mozambican chapter of the regional press freedom body MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa) urged all of Mozambican society to reflect profoundly about corruption and its consequences, and about the best paths to follow to build a society guided by principles of integrity, transparency and honesty.

He stressed that it is urgent to eradicate corruption in Mozambique, so that the country may present itself internationally as a favourable destination for investment. The higher the levels of corruption, the less will be the country's capacity to attract investment, he warned.

"Investment is fundamental for creating jobs and wealth, for increasing household income, and hence for reducing poverty", said Goncalves. "Corruption is a serious threat to the security of the state. Hence we are all called upon to redouble our efforts and contribute to the fight against corruption".

MISA has been joining the government's anti-corruption efforts through initiatives to train and encourage media professionals so that they are equipped with modern tools to investigate and denounce acts of corruption.

Goncalves said that MISA has also been collaborating with the Ministry of State Administration to publicise the Law on Freedom of Information among public servants, and he believed the results of these initiatives are encouraging.

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