Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mozambique: Mozambique defends anti-graft campaign

In Mozambique, the chief whip of the ruling FRELIMO party in parliament denies the
government's anti-graft campaign has been unsuccessful.

Manuel Tome said mopping out corruption is an ongoing effort and something that cannot be achieved overnight.

"We don't think that the fight against corruption has failed. You know you can't eliminate corruption from one day to the other. It's a process and we have to involve not only the judicial institutions, but also civic institutions," he said.

Tome said the government will continue its fight to weed out corruption despite the ongoing trial of a former cabinet minister.

Former transport minister Antonio Munguambe and four other former officials are accused of allegedly stealing nearly two million dollars from the Mozambique Airport Company.

Tome pointed to the trials of former officials as proof of the government's seriousness in fighting corruption.

"This means that the judicial institutions are working. This means that we are fighting corruption. The contrary should be an example of let us say covering these people involved in corruption. This means that if a civil servant or even a leader is involved in corruption, the judicial institutions, the police etcetera they act. This is what we want in our country," Tome said.

President Armando Guebuza vowed to end corruption after the anti-corruption law was passed in 2004.

But critics have often characterized the government's anti-corruption drive as ineffective.

If convicted, the former transport minister and four co-defendants will face between eight and 12 years in prison.

In its latest Corruption Perception Index released Tuesday, Transparency International ranks Mozambique 130th out of 180 countries, findings the ruling FRELIMO party disputes.

Published with the permission of Voice of America

Published by i On Global Trends - Mike Hitchen Online - news, opinion, analysis
See also Sydney Irresistible
Putting principles before profits