210,000 Chinese officials Punished for corruption

210,00 Chinese officials have been prosecuted for corruption, in the first half of 2017.

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This disclosure was made by in a statement by the Central Commission  for Discipline Inspection(CCDI).

According to the statement anti-corruption institutions  received 1.31 million complaints and  opened 260, 000 cases this year.Read more……

 

Raid On Namadi Sambo’s Home : Security Agencies Have Clandestine Intentions-Former VP

Former VP’s  home has been raided five times in 6 months

Former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Namadi  Sambo has described  continued raids on his residence in Kaduna, as acts of desperate attempts by security agencies to frame him up.

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According to a statement issued and signed  by the former Vice President’s media aide, Sani Umar,  the incessant raids on the building which does not have any occupants presently, ”speaks volumes  of the clandestine intentions of the security operatives”

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“In the late afternoon of Wednesday, the 28th of June 2017, the Alimi Road, Kaduna, un-occupied residence of the former vice president, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, GCON, was invaded by security operatives armed with a search warrant, who conducted a forensic search of the entire residence.

“Initially, we were at a loss as to their identity but later discovered that they were operatives from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission, ICPC. This raid brings to five the number of times the residence was searched within a period of six months and on each occasion valuable fittings were deliberately destroyed”.

“It is worthy of note to state that no such brazen attempts were made at any point, either at his Link Road Kaduna residence, or his Abuja apartment, which he presently occupies”.

“As the visit of the operatives was unscheduled, the reasons for the search were not specifically stated. However, the outcome of the search was made known. At the end of the whole exercise, the officers who carried out the search were satisfied that nothing incriminating was found”.

“The recent desperation exhibited by some security agencies in carrying out a raid on an unoccupied residence blocking all entry and exit points, in a commando-style and coming along with a bullion van speaks volume about the clandestine intention of the security operatives. It is therefore worrisome to note that the consistency with which the searches occurred, and the intervals between them portrays a desire of a fault-finding mission. We are apprehensive that a repeat of such episode will not be surprising if an incriminating object is planted in his residence in order to willfully and deliberately incriminate him”.

“It is against this background that we wish to draw the attention of the unsuspecting members of the public to this phenomenon. The desperation of some of the security agencies is glaring, by the number of times such searches were conducted and still counting. We hope it is not a way to try to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it”, the statement concluded.

Government Cannot Serve The People in A Divided House-Prof. Olagoke

Unfolding events indicate that the Nigerian Judiciary no longer has respect for the Executive arm of Government.

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This assertion was made by the Founder and Spiritual Head of Shafaudeen worldwide, Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke, in a chat with Federationews2day, in Ibadan.

”It is a case of bundles of contradiction, because the system of Democracy relys on the Judiciary, Legislature and the Executive. A situation whereby the Executive is  no more respected by the Judiciary, suggests that the house is already divided. And once you have a divided house,  there is no way you can serve the people as expected under Democracy”.

”Because the purpose of Democracy, is for us to be able to  have  peace and development  and the consequent security. So, now that the Judiciary is at war, because that is  means, with the Executive, it means the house of APC is collapsing. So, they must find solution to it, those who were  alleged and indicted, should continue to sit at home and ensure that they answer the queries given them, that is very essential, because Judges must realize that  the Almighty God is the Apex Judge, so in a nation where justice is not prevailing, then that nation will collapse, so, we have to be careful, most especially, they have to be mindful of the younger generation”, Prof. Olagoke concluded.

Land rights in Georgia: the stench of corruption

By Oliko Shermadini, Transparency International Georgia

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When corruption is disguised as a legal procedure, it can often be difficult for ordinary citizens to fight back. But legal procedures can also be used to win the day. This is the story of how Transparency International’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre in Georgia helped a group of villagers win a legal battle against local authorities who had essentially stolen their land. 

On a piece of land about the size of 18 football pitches on the edge of the small village of Didi Lilo just outside Georgia’s capital Tblisi aggressive scavenger birds swoop down on piles of stinking refuse. Parents keep their children indoors because the birds are so dangerous and the smell so noxious.

For generations a group of 17 local tenant farmers grew wheat on this land. It helped them through bad economic times, when food was scarce following the collapse of the Soviet Union and during the civil unrest. “We milled the wheat into flour and baked bread for our family and we used the grain to feed our chickens and livestock,” said Marine Tsopurishvili, one of the villagers (pictured). “It helped us survive as there was no other work around.”

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Marine Tsopurishvili (second from left) stands with villagers in front of landfill.  

When the rights to the land came up for auction in 2006, the 17 villagers joined forces to buy it. Four years later when they tried to register the land on a new electronic cadastral map they found they couldn’t: it was listed as state property.

It was during a fallow year, when the land was left uncultivated that the fences went up and the garbage started pouring in. That’s also when the villagers started their fight to get the land back. They wrote letters and produced ownership evidence but were continually stonewalled. During the court proceedings, representatives from the Public Registry, Tbilisi City Hall, the ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the group that operates the landfill all argued that because the property was not registered as belonging to the villagers on the electronic map it was state land.

Transparency International Georgia operates an Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre for citizens who find themselves beaten back by a system they cannot understand. When one of the Didi Lilo villagers showed us their file, we realized that the authorities, for whatever reason, were acting in bad faith.

Corruption is the defined by Transparency International as the misuse of entrusted power for personal gain. We did not try to argue that this was a case of corruption because it was clear that we could win on procedural arguments.

During court proceedings, representatives of the state claimed that at the time of registering their ownership of the land, the villagers had not registered an electronic cadastral map, and that the paper version of this document did not show any overlap between the landfill area and the land owned by the citizens.

According to Georgian legislation, however, property rights may not be restricted on the grounds that the cadastral map has been registered as a paper document. The majority of land registered before 2010 had been registered this way.

In land dispute cases, the Public Register is obligated to take into account all the data available. The villagers had done everything by the book: they had registered the land, provided a privatization plan and relevant cadastral information that clearly shows its location.

The state claimed that the plot overlapped with state land but refused to provide the 2010 maps to prove this. In court we argued that that state bodies had acted in agreement to intentionally, illegally and without compensation seize a piece of land from the rightful owners. The state was happy to take the villagers’ money in 2006; and just as happy to doctor the system and seize it back in 2010.

In 2014, the Georgian Public Defender had also recommended the Public Registry reconsider its decision, but to no avail. We used the Public Defender’s report as evidence in court.

The dispute lasted for 3 years but ended on March 22, 2017, when Tbilisi City Court (court of first instance) granted our claim and recognised the ownership rights of the villagers. The court decision granted our clients’ requests for registration.

The next step is to get compensation. The land is now unfit for agriculture. According to a private audit estimate, the disputed piece of land had a market value of GEL 1.3 million (US$536,103) prior to its seizure. We plan to demand compensation for damages, which will include the above market value as well as compensation for damage incurred as a result of a 10 year property rights violation period.

The state can of course appeal the decision but we will be ready to continue the fight. The villagers of Didi Lilo may not have agricultural land anymore but they are clearly entitled to compensation for the illegal seizure.

Oliko Shermadini started working at Transparency International Georgia as an intern in 2012. Since then she has been involved in different TI Georgia projects, including working at the Advocacy and Legal Advice Center. 

Source-Transparency International

Zimbabwe: Mazoe Evictees Report Grace to Botswana, SA Embassies

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“We cannot fight the First Family with all the resources at their disposal. They are using armed police and there is nothing much we can do but just to approach the courts and the regional bodies to which the country is a member,” said Dube.

Villagers who were evicted from both Arnold and Manzou farms in Mazoe district by First Lady Grace Mugabe have formally reported their plight to Botswana and South African embassies as as SADC.

Botswana is led by President Ian Khama, the only regional leader openly critical of President Mugabe’s rule.

The decision to approach regional leaders comes after Grace Mugabe continues to defy court orders stopping her from illegally and forcibly evicting the villagers.

The Arnold farmers were evicted two weeks ago from the land they had been staying in for the last 17 years after they forced a white commercial farmer out.

Officials from the Lands Ministry argue that the land belongs to the First Family and Grace, who wants to expand her projects, needs an additional 1.400 hectares of arable land.

Over 700 people have been affected.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the secretary of the Arnold Farmers and Residents Association (ARA), Innocent Dube, said apart from using divide and rule tactics the First Family also continues to defy court orders apparently showing that they are above the law and disregard the country’s Constitution.

“We have already filed a report at the South African Embassy in Harare and they said they were going to forward it to Swaziland,” said Dube.

He added, “We also went to the Botswana Embassy whom we told of our fate and are sympathising with us and honestly speaking they have been very helpful.

“So we are looking forward to get a positive response from the regional body to tell Mugabe to respect the rule of law and the right of Zimbabweans despite of their class.”

Dube said as villagers they were powerless as they could not fight the Mugabe family.

“We cannot fight the First Family with all the resources at their disposal. They are using armed police and there is nothing much we can do but just to approach the courts and the regional bodies to which the country is a member,” said Dube.

On March 23, the police went to Arnold farm and demolished the farmers’ homes. They then bundled villagers into lorries during the night and dumped them along Mvurwi road near Riverside Farm.

It is then that the villagers approached the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights who made an urgent court application to stop the evictions but the police refused to comply with the court order.

The police continued to demolish the farmers’ homes arguing that they only take orders from the First Lady.

The villagers then filed another urgent chamber application for contempt of court and, again, relief was granted by the High Court.

The land dispute between the farmers and Mugabe’s wife has been on-going since 2014 which is when she first attempted to evict them.

At the time, the famers’ representatives went to court which ruled that villagers should not be evicted until the government had offered them another place to stay.

The ministry of lands then gave offer letters to the five representatives in what was seen as a way of silencing them.

Source : New Zimbabwe

Grace Mugabe Defies Court Order, Destroys Villagers’ Homes

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Despite a Zimbabwean court ruling against First Lady Grace Mugabe’s demolishing villagers’ houses and evicting them from a farm , the police, under the First Lady’s order, proceeded with the illegal evictions of mostly women and children.

Fighting land corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa: Widows tell their story

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”The land my husband and I farmed on has been taken away from me… when I appealed to the Tindana I found him drinking with the same people who evicted me from the land.”

– Video project participant

Land corruption is a major problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. Whether it’s a shady deal between private investors and local authorities, citizens having to pay bribes to secure title deeds, or customary laws that deny women their land rights, land corruption hits the poor and marginalized hardest.

Food insecurity and an increased risk of conflict are some of the consequences of land corruption. For, so long as access to information and justice in the land sector is limited and citizens are left out of decision-making processes about the land they tend, corruption will thrive.

We believe that if citizens are given a voice to speak out and demand action from those who abuse their land rights, change is possible.

Here is a video made with 10 widowed women from Kulbia, a village in the eastern part of Ghana.

In this village, customary laws dictate that when a woman’s husband dies, the land they both worked on is given to male-headed households. The film documents the corruption and abuse that denied the women their livelihood. It also shows how the local land custodian, or Tindana, eventually agrees to support the women’s rights.

The aim of this project was to enable community members to document land issues affecting them, so they can push for change in traditional practices and, ultimately, put an end to the corruption and abuse they face. Because land corruption affects men and women differently, there has to be a gender-sensitive approach.

The video was screened to the public at the local women’s resource centre so everyone could see the commitments made by Tindana. We are working on more of these participatory films to document the damaging effects of land corruption.

Transparency International is taking part in the World Bank Land and Poverty conference this week, where we’ll present evidence of the effects of land corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa and call on the international community to recognise it as a serious threat to livelihoods which needs urgent attention. Our work on corruption and land is looking for new solutions to change people’s lives. Click here to read about a small grants programme that is making a difference in Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Image: InsightShare / Transparency International

Source : Transparency International

European citizens want to speak up – but fear the consequences

One out of four citizens in the European Union (EU) believes that reporting corruption is the most effective thing a person can do to fight it. Unfortunately only a small minority of them would speak up, according to our recent public survey, covering 22 out of the 28 EU member states.

Why is this? Put simply, most fear the consequences: 35% of EU citizens said they are afraid of retaliation or a negative backlash such as losing their job. In France, The Netherlands and Portugal it is 50% who expressed this concern.

At the same time, the majority of European citizens feels personally compelled to report an incidence of corruption. In France, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UK and Portugal more than 80% said they would feel obliged to speak up if they would witness wrongdoing.

We need EU-wide whistleblower protection!

If we want to fight corruption effectively we need to close this gap. Whistleblowers across the EU must be protected and supported when they witness or suspect wrongdoing. But legal protection is uneven across the EU – and poor to non-existent in most EU member states. Ireland adopted a strong bill in 2014, and last week France passed the Loi Sapin which includes provisions for whistleblower protection. But in other countries like Germany and Poland there is no progress at all, and the current whistleblowing legislation process in Italy is stuck at the Senate with an uncertain outcome.

That’s why Transparency International and many other organisations have joined forces in a call for a European law on whistleblower protection. An EU directive in line with good standards for such laws as developed by the Councvil of Europe and  Transparency International would provide certainty for whistleblowers across Europe that their disclosures are protected.

Brave citizens like Andrea Forsozo or John Wilson have successfully uncovered fraud, corruption or danger to public health and safety. LuxLeaks whistleblowers Atoine Deltour and Raphael Halet have helped to shed light on harmful tax avoidance practices, leading to a wide debate about tax transparency and to the adjustment of related rules and regulations.

But without legal protection such people take an enormous risk. Many end up in court or lose their jobs, even though their disclosures were critical to protect the public interest.

This needs to change: If we want to root out corruption and other types of wrongdoing we need to ensure that whistleblowers get the appropriate protection and support. An EU directive would be an important step into the right direction.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Source : Transparency International

Kenya: Wabukala Nominated for Top EACC Post

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Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has nominated Retired Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala to be the new chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi on Tuesday informed the House that he had received a message from the President communicating the nomination for parliamentary vetting.

Wabukala is set to be vetted for the position that was left vacant by Philip Kinisu following his Acrimonious exit in August.

Kinisu had been under fire after it was discovered that a firm owned by his family and where he was a director and shareholder, had dealings with the National Youth Service (NYS), while it was under investigation by the anti-graft agency.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) had submitted the name of retired Archbishop Wabukala alongside that of former Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) Managing Director William Kipkemboi and Philemon Mwaisaka, who served at the defunct Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution.

The PSC had earlier shortlisted six candidates including former Inspector-General of State Corporations Peter Bita Ondieki, Rose Bosibori Osoro, who is on the Commission on Revenue Allocation, and Erastus Iguna Rweria.

Source : Capital FM

Rwanda: Call for Action to End Graft in Public Infrastructure Projects

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The Integrity Pact, that monitors the procurement and tender process of public infrastructure projects, shows that corruption and mismanagement of funds is still rampant.

Transparency International Rwanda (TIR) released the report after monitoring nine infrastructure projects in four districts; namely Musanze, Rubavu, Huye and Kayonza.

It shows that, in most projects, integrity pacts were not signed, participation of bidders significantly increased, contract durations were not respected, and citizens were not involved in various phases.

It was also realised that, some materials were ignored; contracts were not proportional to the works which require amendments, destroyed properties not paid for, among others.

It cites the construction of Rwf375 million phase III handcraft centre in Rubavu District, where only 20 per cent of workers were paid on time while only 36 per cent of the residents were informed about the project.

In Musanze, the distance was miscalculated for the construction of Musanze-Nyakinama road worth Rwf12.3 billion.

Water channels, speed bumps, pavements, among others, were also missing.

Marie Immaculée Ingabire, the chairperson of Transparency International, Rwanda, said that in Public Finance Management they introduced integrity pacts to provide an opportunity for independent procurement monitoring at various stages.

The areas, she said, include planning, bidding, implementation and evaluation of important projects in districts.

She noted that the introduction of ICT component in monitoring as a web-based platform and social audits where citizens can provide their inputs on important aspects will keep the procurement process corruption free, transparent and inclusive.

“Public procurement in Rwanda remains most prone to corruption due to the amounts involved in public procurement, on the one hand, and the imbalanced bargaining power between the service seekers and providers at the decentralised entities on the other,” Ingabire said.

“Limited independent monitoring from non-state actors on public contracts and low level of bottom-up accountability were still prevalent,” she added.

Ingabire warned that the findings from the monitoring show some risks of corruption and embezzlement.

“Mostly those are delays in payment of contractors, unlawful addendums to contracts, and the capacity around the procured projects whose information remains at the discretion of officials in charge of procurement, and very few bidders who are always the ones awarded contracts,” she warned.

Apollinaire Mupiganyi, the executive director of TI-Rwanda, said corruption in public procurement of infrastructure has a negative impact on poverty alleviation and infrastructural development.

“Stakeholders need to join forces for better prevention, government authorities also need to ensure that perpetrators are apprehended and assets recovered,” he said.

The Integrity Pact is a tool developed in the 1990’s by Transparency International to help governments, businesses and civil society to fight corruption in the field of public contracting.

It establishes mutual contractual rights and obligations to reduce the high cost and distortionary effects of corruption in public contracting.

In Rwanda, the integrity pact was introduced in 2012.

Xavier Mbarubukeye, the permanent secretary at the Office of Ombudsman hailed TI- Rwanda, saying it contributes to the fight against corruption and misuse of public funds .

He described the integrity pact as a powerful tool that promotes transparency.

“Unlike other corruption control tools, the integrity pact serves as a preventive mechanism,” he noted.

According to Yves Bernard Ningabire, the director general, planning, monitoring and evaluation, at the Ministry of Local Government, the findings are relevant as they reveal real picture in local authorities’ procurement process.

Source : The New Times