In what concerns Africa, one of the burning issues has always been corruption. It’s really upsetting that such poor countries have to deal with it. I don’t believe poverty can be explained by corruption but the sensation left in us is close enough to that consensus.
I’ve heard of cases of corruption before, yet I never had the “opportunity” of knowing one from so close. This is my “Tale of Corruption in 5 Points”:
1- Mozambique has to produce a new driver’s license similar to the one already in use in other countries of SADC. The actual comes from colonial time and is prone to forgery.
2- One bid was organized to select a candidate capable of producing the new license, operation financed by a major international institution.
3- Three different enterprises presented proposals on time: 1 overseas company that quit in the middle of the selection; 1 regional company, in partnership with another Mozambican enterprise, presenting a cost superior to USD 4 millions, for the production of 400.000 licenses during a period of 5 years; 1 Mozambican company with a proposal of USD 2.1 millions for the same effect. Besides, it was the only one presenting a model as a proof of capacity for the job.
4- As far as everybody involved in this matter was able to find out, the company presenting the higher cost was awarded. The “funny” part of all this is that the same company, obviously for not having the right skills to supply the documents, immediately contacted the loser and asked them to do the job.
This week, a specialized team from the institution arrived to investigate the matter. Once confirmed, it will be a major scandal in terms of projects which that institution funds.
This matter is starting to agitate the local press and a lot is going to be said about it. For me, it’s a definitive confirmation that corruption is not a word used lightly.