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Yaoundé - 26 February 2024 -
Public management

Corruption losses see a significant decline in 2022 but challenges linger

Corruption losses see a significant decline in 2022 but challenges linger
  • Comments   -   Monday, 30 October 2023 17:19

(Business in Cameroon) - The financial damage suffered by the State as a result of corruption and related offenses has been estimated at CFA4.6 billion in 2022, according to data provided by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Conac). Compared with the previous year, when the amount was estimated at CFA44 billion, this makes a huge reduction of more than CFA39 billion.

According to the Conac report, more than half of the losses in 2021 were attributed to the Debt Recovery Company (SRC). The latter was accused of having caused the State to lose more than CFA24 billion between 2011 and 2014. Conac said the financial loss was established based on investigative missions, as well as pecuniary convictions resulting from decisions handed down by the Budgetary and Financial Discipline Council (CDBF) of the Superior State Audit (Consupe) and the Special Criminal Court (TCS).

The drop in the amount of losses estimated for 2022 does not necessarily mean a decline in corruption. It may also be a sign that the fight against corruption in the country has lost momentum over the period under review. Thus, the investigations carried out by the Conac in 2022 found that the loss suffered by the State is estimated at CFA249,131,723. The CDBF, which is responsible for ruling on alleged mismanagement by public credit authorizers and other managers or supervisors of public assets, handed down a total of 18 decisions (compared with 24 in 2021). These decisions concerned current or former officials of seven public administrations.

Denunciations

Of the 18 individuals implicated, eight were found guilty and fined a total of FCFA 6,800,000. Some of these officials were debited a total of 499,110,375 FCFA, representing the financial loss suffered by the State of Cameroon in these cases, we learn. The TCS, which punishes offenses of misappropriation of public funds when the loss reaches a minimum of 50 million FCFA, issued 21 final rulings in 2022 for cases involving the Ministry of Finance (Minfi), the Autonomous Port of Douala (PAD), Cameroon Water Utilities (Camwater), Cameroon Postal Service (Campost), Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel), the National Park of Civil Engineering Equipment (Matgénie) and the commune of Yokadouma (East).

A total of 32 people were implicated in these cases. Twenty-four of them were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. The total financial loss suffered by the State of Cameroon in these cases amounts to 3,875,176,820 FCFA, the document revealed.

 "Through the 1517 toll-free number, 2,603 denunciations were received; 3,472 through administrative mail, 565 by e-mail, and 401 via the WhatsApp number. Embezzlement of public property appears to be the major offense, with 1,135 occurrences", reported Dieudonné Massi Gams, President of the Conac, during the presentation of this report. Most of the denunciations received last year via the toll-free number concerned the education, state and land affairs, and finance sectors.

According to the results of the Corruption Perceptions Index published in January 2023 by Transparency International (TI), Cameroon was ranked the 34th most corrupt country in Africa (142nd worldwide) in 2022. In the Cemac region, the country ranks second, behind Gabon.

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