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Institutional Corruption Cost Sudan $18 bln

Institutional Corruption Cost Sudan $18 bln

Thursday, 22 August, 2019 - 07:30
Sudanese demonstrators wave their national flags as they attend a mass anti-government protest outside Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Khartoum - Ahmad Khalil

Institutional corruption and extra-budgetary squandering has cost Sudan some $18 billion according to the Zero Corruption Organization (ZCO), a body tasked with reviewing state agencies to reach the North African country’s zero corruption goals.

The Anti-Corruption and Illegal Gain Prosecution committee, in a presser held in Khartoum on Tuesday, demanded revoking all privileges granted to government-owned companies, they criticized the telecommunications sector for hoarding a “cash glut” outside the country’s main banking system.

The sum of money held by the sector is said to be larger than Central Bank of Sudan (CBOS) reserves and is kept in the form of electronic currencies that recharge mobile lines.

According to the Chairman of the Sudanese Transparency Organization, Dr. Al-Tayeb Mukhtar, the Sudanese economy will not recover and the Sudanese pound will recuperate unless the telecommunications sector is rearranged.

Mukhtar, in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, warned against the seriousness of corruption, saying that its roots run deep and were further emboldened by previous dictatorships.

Noting that Sudan's new transitional government is also corrupt, Mukhtar blasted its failure to protect citizens who are willing to come forward with exposing corruption-tied documents.

Meanwhile, expert Ahmed Rajab, warned that institutional corruption is one of the most serious forms of corruption. He also demanded that the transitional government forces the telecommunications sector to make a balancing deposit at CBOS.

ZCO, for its part, called on civil society organizations to find the necessary solutions and to work for protecting consumers.

“ZCO’s main mission is to bring the corrupt to justice, and return funds to the state treasury…as a voluntary system, it also works to educate citizens on their rights, and fill the gaps in current mechanisms and modalities for fighting corruption, build a state of law, and reduce the rate of corruption in the country,” Professor Nader Al Badawi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

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