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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday urged the managers of public accounts to show greater observance of legality, ethics, transparency and rigor in the management of public resources, in a context where these resources are increasingly scarce in Mozambique.
He was speaking in Maputo at the opening of a meeting of the Steering Committee of the Organisation of African Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E).
“We are demanding greater control of the management of resources in the country’s public institutions”, said Nyusi. “Our legitimacy as public managers comes in part from the scrupulous legality of the acts we practice”.
He believed that controlling the management of the state’s financial resources is one of the essential conditions for the success of governance and, in the final analysis, is inherent to the very existence of the democratic rule of law.
Nyusi stressed that audits are critical for ensuring the credibility of institutions. Efficient and effective audits, internal or external, he said, create the conditions for trust in public bodies, and limit the space for corruption.
He argued that most acts of corruption in Mozambique are not directly linked to the theft of state funds as such, but to the misuse of resources, by not obeying the criteria for their application. It was here that he believed there should be greater control of public accounts through audits.
“Audits are a thermometer of transparency, of the quality of the work we are doing, and nobody should be afraid of them”, he said. “The institutions that control the use of public money should always act so that there are no infringements”.
Mozambique, stressed Nyusi, is passing through a period of scarcity of resources – but at the same time faces increasing needs. Only efficient use of resources, based on the definition of priorities, and a strict allocation of those resources, would make it possible to comply with the government’s programmes, and to satisfy the needs of the public.
In a context of increasingly scarce resources, “the administrative machinery of the state, in the day to day management of public assets, must be guided by scrupulous observance or norms and principles”, he declared.
The chairperson of AFROSAI-E, the auditor-general of Sierra Leone, Lara Taylor-Pearce, said the purpose of the Maputo meeting is to promote the technical and professional development and cooperation between the members.
She said the meeting would advise Mozambique’s supreme control institutions (such as the Administrative Tribunal) and the bodies of the justice system “for greater intervention to guarantee transparency in the administration of public funds”.
In her opening address, Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce, the Chair of @AFROSAIE remarks: “I am particularly excited about our theme for this year’s meeting- Having a voice to influence our governments for greater accountability and for greater service delivery.”
— Afrosai E (@AFROSAIE) May 6, 2019
2019 Strategic Review and 16th AFROSAI-E Governing Board meeting – welcoming ceremony led by the President of Mozambique.
“SAIs having a voice to influence government” pic.twitter.com/3qL2H1UIyA
— Jan van Schalkwyk (@jan6724) May 6, 2019
The meetings comes at a time when Mozambique is grappling with its largest ever financial scandal, which saw the creation of three fraudulent security-related companies, Proindicus, Ematum (Mozambique Tuna Company) and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management), who obtained loans of over two billion US dollars from the banks Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia, in 2013 and 2014, on the basis of illegal loan guarantees issued by the previous government, led by President Armando Guebuza.
As a direct result of his role in the fraudulent scheme, Guebuza’s finance minister, Manuel Chang, is in South African police custody, awaiting a decision as to whether he will be extradited to Mozambique or to the United States.
The Mozambican Attorney-General’s Office has arrested ten other people, including Guebuza’s oldest son, Ndambi Guebuza, the former head of the State Intelligence Service (SISE), Gregorio Leao, and the SISE officer who chaired all three fraudulent companies, Antonio do Rosario.
— Afrosai E (@AFROSAIE) May 7, 2019
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