Mali launches crackdown on civil service corruption
Bamako (AFP) - Mali's anti-corruption office launched a crackdown on tens of thousands of civil servants Tuesday, setting them an end of August deadline to prove they earned their income honestly.
Those who fail to do so will be sacked and could face fines and even jail terms, Moumouni Guindo, head of the Central Office against Illicit Enrichment (OCLCEI) told AFP.
Top government officials have until the end of August to declare their assets, as have another 55,000 civil servants across the country, including contract workers, he added.
"Any civil servant who fails to declare his assets before the end of August 2017 will be relieved of his functions...," said Guindo. They would be banned from public sector work for five years, he added.
"Investigations for illicit enrichment will be launched against any civil servant under suspicion," he added.
The onus was on the officials to prove their assets had been honestly acquired, he said, and anyone trying to hide their assets "will be in for a surprise."
The 12-strong OCLCEI was set up in 2014. It has the power to take officials suspected of corruption to court.
Anyone found guilty of corruption risked up to five years in jail if the sum concerned was sufficiently large, said Guindo.
Pressure groups and campaigners in Mali regularly denounce corruption and poor governance in the country.
Mali has since 2002 been struggling against a jihadist insurgence, which in 2013 led to a French-led military operation to drive them out of strongholds in the north of the country.