Mozambique busts over 30,000 ‘ghost workers’

The Mozambican government has busted more than 30,000 ghost workers on the civil service payroll.

The civil service minister Carmelita Namashulua said her ministry had found out that payments were made to non-existent people, while some workers on the payroll were dead or fictitious.

She said the fraud had cost the government some $250m between 2015 and 2017.

Namashulua said the Mozambican government still recognized that state corruption was still a major problem in the country, one of the world’s poorest nations.

The southern African nation is ranked 153 out of 180 countries by watchdog Transparency International in its global corruption perceptions index.

The minister also noted that the country still faced other challenges including favouritism, nepotism, illicit charges for admitting people to jobs in public administration and the falsification of licenses.

Following the discovery of the ghost workers, the civil service ministry ordered all employees to appear in person at a specified office to prove they really existed. At the end of the audit, those that did not turn up stopped receiving their wages.