MAPUTO, Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Leticia Klemens, has admitted that the country’s current licensing of mining areas is prone to corrupt practices and these must be denounced and fought against.

Speaking at the opening of a meeting of the Co-ordinating Council of her Ministry in the southern city of Matola Wednesday, Klemens called for preventive measures to halt corruption in licensing, and said that disciplinary and criminal proceedings should be started against anyone suspected of involvement in such practices.

She stressed that the simplification of licensing procedures was one measure which could contribute towards eliminating or reducing corruption in the sector.

We are very concerned at the signs of deviations and failure to comply with the duty of good administration in some areas in our sector,” said Klemens. She condemned the use of public power for personal gain or the satisfaction of private interests and stressed that those who work in the public administration must defend the public interest, and seek the best possible solutions to meet the needs of citizens.

Mozambique’s current economic circumstances, she said, had delayed some of the actions envisaged in the government’s Economic and Social Plan for the year and this posed a challenge to the mineral resources sector to look for solutions that could soften the impact of an inadequate budget.

Klemens said that despite the constraints her Ministry faced, priority energy projects had been completed successfully, including the rehabilitation of the Chicamba and Mavuzi hydro-electric dams on the Revue River, in the central province of Manica; the rehabilitation of the Chibata and Dondo electricity sub-stations and the Chibata-Dondo transmission line; and the construction of a sub-station at Namialo, in the northern province of Nampula. In addition, construction had begun on the combined cycle gas-fired power station in the capital, Maputo.

Given how meagre the resources allocated are, we have centred our activities on the priority energy projects and on the hydrocarbon and mineral projects with the greatest weight in the overall structure of production, such as the natural gas, heavy sands and coal projects, she said.