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Cablegate: Mozambique: National Anti-Corruption Strategy

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270538Z DEC 05
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4767
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 001653

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AF/S FOR HTREGER
MCC FOR SGAULL
NSC FOR CCOURVILLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCOR PGOV PREL MZ
SUBJECT: MOZAMBIQUE: NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY
UNDER DISCUSSION


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Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The Ministry of State Administration presented a
draft of Mozambique's National Anti-Corruption Strategy at a
December 7 - 9 seminar held in Maputo. The event was
designed to build consensus around the anti-corruption
strategy and identify challenges in its implementation, and
brought together members of the government and
representatives from various sectors of civil society to
debate the draft plan. Though the seminar was well-attended
and received significant press coverage, many observers
believe the strategy lacks the necessary focus and detail to
be an effective anti-corruption tool. The final version of
the strategy is expected to be approved by the GRM in March
2006. Further seminars at the provincial level are planned
for early next year. End Summary.

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The Players Get Together
------------------------

2. (U) The Ministry of State Administration, the government
body charged with implementing public sector reform and
coordinating the country's anti-corruption strategy,
presented its draft of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy
(NACS) at a three-day seminar sponsored jointly by the
British Council and the GRM. The event, held from December 7
to 9 in Maputo, was attended by various government ministers,
provincial governors, permanent secretaries, political party
representatives, religious and community leaders, as well a
members of civil society and private sector. The event aimed
to build consensus among key players, as well as address the
challenges that Mozambique will face in designing and
implementing an effective national anti-corruption strategy.
The final version of the strategy is expected to be approved
by the GRM in March 2006. Further seminars at the provincial
level are planned for early next year.

3. (U) The recent seminar is one of the final steps in a
consultative process on the draft strategy that began nearly
two years ago, and which included the preparation and launch
of a national survey on public perception of corruption in
Mozambique. The final results, which were made public only
in part in August, indicated that police and customs were
considered the most corrupt public organs. The survey also
revealed general disillusionment with the Mozambican court
system, as well as perceived widespread corruption within the
health and education sectors. (Note: The results of the
survey were originally to be published by the GRM in
September 2004, but were delayed. Some observers believe
this step was taken because the negative tone of the report
may have significantly damaged the ruling FRELIMO party's
image in advance of the December 2004 elections. End note.)

The Strategy's Nuts and Bolts...
--------------------------------

4. (U) Though the NACS draws loosely on points from the
national survey, it is based primarily on the Global Public
Sector Reform Strategy (PSRS), which has been under
development by the GRM with donor support. The NACS puts
forth seven strategic objectives that range from
simplification and rationalization of administrative
processes to the development of a culture of transparency and
public accountability. It also calls for improvements in the
operational capacity, efficiency and quality of the justice
system, and specifically targets an increase in number of
corruption cases tried by the courts as means of discouraging
the "culture of impunity" that, according to the strategy,
drives corruption in Mozambique.

...And Its Shortcomings
-----------------------

5. (SBU) During the seminar, some members of civil society
questioned the strategy's ability to protect citizens who
denounce corrupt acts, stating that the current
anti-corruption laws does not sufficiently address the issue
and that there is no mention of increased "whistle blower"
protection in the draft strategy. Others argued that the
strategy would not be effective unless it addressed the issue
of resources. One individual cited the "conflict of
interest" that arises when labor inspectors are forced to get

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rides to inspection sites from the owners of the respective
companies, since the inspectors themselves have no means of
transportation.

6. (SBU) During a December 14 donor meeting, members of the
G18 outlined other areas in the draft strategy that they
believe require additional definition, including conflict of
interest, financial management reform, and declaration of
assets. (Note: According to the local press, Minister of
State Administration Lucas Chomera gave no indication that
the strategy would address the issue of asset disclosure
among high-ranking government officials, which is considered
a key aspect in fighting corruption. At present, such
declarations are simply deposited with the Constitutional
Council. They are not made public unless the official
chooses to do so. To date, Minister of Finance Manuel Chang
is the only senior official to publicly disclose his assets.
End Note.)

Comment
-------

7. (SBU) Although some observers believe that the GRM's
high-level participation in the strategy seminar is evidence
of political will to fight corruption, others are skeptical
that the GRM will actually incorporate recommendations made
on key aspects deemed necessary for the draft to become a
truly effective anti-corruption tool. Though the seminar was
well-attended and received significant press coverage, some
observers reported that the tone of discussions was
unenthusiastic. End Comment.
Dudley

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