Maputo, 10 Feb (AIM) – The Mozambican Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) has ordered the arrest of the former general director of the National Institute of Land Transport (INATTER), Ana Simoes, on charges of corruption dating from the 2018-2021 period.
INATTER no longer exists, and its key tasks are now performed by the National Institute of Road Transport (INATRO).
Four other people were detained. The release from the PGR did not name them, but one is known to be the former head of the INATTER administration and finance department, Rita Monjane. Two are other members of the INATTER staff and the fourth works for an INATTER service provider.
The five accused are charged with corruption, abuse of office, maladministration, illicit participation in business, payment of undue remunerations, and criminal conspiracy.
Simoes was appointed general director of INATTER in 2015, replacing Ana Dimande, who was also accused of corruption. She was said to have ignored a new wage table for INATTER staff, drawn up jointly by the Finance and Transport Ministries, and instead paid herself and other senior staff an illegal monthly salary of half a million meticais (about 7,800 US dollars, at today’s exchange rate, but worth considerably more in 2015).
Although these accusations are almost eight years old, there is still no sign of any trial of Dimande.
The then Transport Minister, Carlos Mesquita, found that INATTER was operating dozens of bank accounts. He ordered the closure of 75 of them, leaving INATTER with just six accounts. This move was intended to reduce the risk of corruption. At the same time, it was decided to reduce the number of people authorized to operate the computerized system that produces driving licences from 222 to 59 in the entire country.
Apparently, these moves did not have the desired effect, and nor did Mesquita’s instructions to Simoes in 2015 that she should imprint a new dynamic of transparency in the management of the institution. For, two years after leaving INATTER, Dimande’s successor, Ana Simoes, also finds herself facing corruption charges.
In 2015, the anti-corruption organization, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) published a report on how INATTER staff, in connivance with some driving school, issue driving licences with the candidates attending any driving classes.
Simoes, who was new to the job at the time, recognized the existence of corruption in INATTER and promised to do away with all corrupt schemes within 15 days.