Mozambique: Transport subsidies enriched the corrupt – CIP

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The CIP Public Integrity Centre, which aims to promote transparency and good governance in Mozambique, says that the system of carrier subsidies introduced in 2011 has lined the pockets of the corrupt but has not alleviated the deficiency in public transport in Mozambique.

In a study released yesterday, the CIP reports that from 2011 to 2015 the Mozambican government channelled around 1 billion meticais [US$16,658,323.00 at current exchange rates] to the Mozambican Federation of Road Transport Workers (Fematro) in order to meet the pressure on transport fares in Mozambique’s major cities.

This equates to 17.4 million meticais [US$289,797.00] a month for the approximately 2,500 transport operators in Maputo, Matola, Beira, Nampula and Boane, where urban transport has been getting worse year after year.

As a result of recent increases in fuel prices, this amount was increased to 42 million meticais [US$699,401.00], but according to the CIP, it was not possible to establish if the beneficiaries actually made their vehicles available to the public as a result.

Earlier this year, the government announced that it was stopping subsidizing road transport, saying the system was unsustainable.

The CIP maintains that, instead of presenting its accounts transparently and holding potential offenders accountable, “the Government has chosen to change the subsidy policy, ignoring the high expenditures previously made, and has now chosen to assign vehicles to transporters, once again in an unclear manner”.

CIP Analyst Tomás Rondinho says transport subsidies have always fostered corrupt practices, and deplores the fact that urban transport is getting worse year after year. The CIP study also notes the government’s inability to authorize fare increases, besides the fact that revenue is insufficient to cover basic maintenance costs.

Source: Voa Portugues

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