Mozambique takes steps to curb the theft of public money by proposing new anti-corruption laws

The government in Mozambique has proposed new anti-corruption laws and toughened its century-old criminal code to curb the theft of public money, according to the state’s media. The southern African country’s highest decision-making body, the Council of Ministers, endorsed measures to criminalise embezzlement, influence peddling, and graft, according to state daily Noticias. “As grounds for revising the penal code, the government found that it has existed for at least 125 years, during which the law has been altered” and become too complicated for effective enforcement, reported the newspaper. New measures will allow video footage and phone taps as evidence in court cases, and offer protection to witnesses and whistle-blowers.

Government also approved alternatives to prison sentences for lesser crimes in a bid to empty its overcrowded corrective centres, the paper said. Mozambique is ranked 116 of 178 countries on anti-graft watchdog Transparency International’s latest index of global corruption. Despite criticism of widespread institutional corruption, Mozambique has convicted two former ministers for graft in the past two years. The country’s parliament, where ruling party Frelimo holds a majority, is expected to rubber-stamp the changes.

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