Some of those on the government payroll – which accounts for 55% of the poor African country’s state expenditure – did exist but they were paid for jobs they did not do, while others were dead or fictitious.
Civil service minister Carmelita Namashulua said: “A proof-of-life test of the Mozambican civil service between 2015 and 2017 has detected around 30,000 ‘ghost’ employees costing the equivalent of 220 million euros ($250 million).”
The tests were carried out to assess the effectiveness of officials in the country, which has been ranked as the 153rd most corrupt in the 2017 Transparency International Index.
The tests were carried out on around 348,000 workers, the minister said.
Although Mozambique’s GDP growth has been among the world’s highest – thanks to foreign investment and an expanding tourist sector – it is still one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world.
The government has announced a series of measures to contain public spending in the state budget for 2019.
Apart from health, education and agriculture sectors, one new employee will be recruited for every three vacancies.
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