Mozambique: 'Sense of Impunity' About Corruption Still Prevalent

Maputo — Mozambique's Attorney-General, Beatriz Buchili, recognised on Wednesday that there is a general "sense of impunity" about crimes of corruption, which leads society to cease believing in the country's institutions.

Presenting her annual report on the justice system to the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Buchili noted that throughout 2019 there had been "growing protests against corruption, demanding integrity and morality, particularly in the management of public and private assets".

She said that, although her institution has been bringing corrupt officials to justice, "the social sense of impunity still prevails", and corruption is continuing to interfere in the lives of citizens, undermining efforts to achieve economic and social development.

Buchili said that in 2019 the provincial attorneys' officers and the anti-corruption offices registered 911 cases of corruption - 210 fewer than in 2018. Since 665 cases from previous years had not been concluded, attorneys found themselves facing a work load of 1,576 cases.

"In these cases, we continue to see the involvement of state officials who, in the exercise of their duties, take bribes or use unduly, for their own benefit or that of others, the material and financial resources put at their disposal for the public interest", said Buchili.

In cases of embezzlement, she added, "we find situations in which the State Financial Administration system (e-SISTAFE) itself is corrupted, when some staff, through the creation of false profiles or passwords, transfer sums with enormous damage to the public treasury".

The parliamentary debate on Buchili's report continues on Thursday.

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