Saturday, February 14, 2009

Corruption is Mozambique's Most Dangerous Problem

I just found this on the Internet, and find it disheartening, but unfortunately very true. It was of great interest to me as my son and his family are missionaries to the country of Mozambique. Corruption makes the missionary's job and life much more difficult.

According to the news source "Afrique En Ligne:"

The Director of Mozambique's Central Office for the Fight Against Corruption, Ana Maria Gemo, warned on Tuesday "corruption is not the only ill that undermines the development of the state, but it is certainly the most dangerous".

Giving a lecture to an audience of over 500 in Maputo on "Corruption as an obstacle to development", Gemo said what is often referred to as "petty corruption" is widespread and "makes life impossible for citizens".

Petty corruption refers to such abuses as teachers demanding bribes from their pupils, health workers extorting illicit payments from patients, or policemen only investigating robberies if the victim pays them something."Petty corruption violates citizens when they use state services to which they have a right," said Gemo, adding that the use of the state by its own employees for personal enrichment "makes our growth and development impossible."

Measures were being taken against such behaviour, Gemo said, disclosing that from January to October 2008, proceedings were begun against 429 state employees accused of corruption.So far this month, she added, 10 public employees have been arrested in Maputo city and province alone for "illicit practices.""

A change of attitude is imperative," said Gemo, charging "we, the public functionaries, must make the people believe that we are here to serve them."Frowning at theft of state funds, she warned that the maximum penalty for a civil servant who raided the state's coffers was 24 years imprisonment."The GCCC is committed to preventing this evil", she said, adding that "our
concern is to encourage a change so that everyone works to dignify the state.

The fight against corruption involves the serious collective will of all those working i n the public sector, as well as the existence of adequate and pertinent legislations. We must all be soldiers in this battle."At the meeting, Minister for Public Service Victoria Diogo, urged state employees to reflect upon their current manner of serving the public, calling them to adopt a more fitting, honest and efficient way of performing their duties.This is one of a series of 20 meetings on corruption, aimed essentially at the public sector and being held throughout the country in January Maputo - 21/01/2009

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