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Mozambique finds 30,000 ghost officials costing $250m

Some of those on the government payroll, which accounts for 55% of the poor African country's state expenditure, did exist but were paid for jobs they did not undertake while others were dead or fictitious.

FILE: A school janitor folds the Mozambican national flag at sunset inside a Public School on 4 July, 2018 in Nacala, Mozambique. Picture: AFP

MAPUTO - Mozambique's government said on Monday that it had identified 30,000 "ghost employees" in its civil service who cost $250 million between 2015 and 2017.

Some of those on the government payroll, which accounts for 55% of the poor African country's state expenditure, did exist but were paid for jobs they did not undertake while others were dead or fictitious.

"A proof-of-life test of the Mozambican civil service between 2015 and 2017 has detected around 30,000 'ghost' employees costing the equivalent of $250 million," Civil Service Minister Carmelita Namashulua told the Mozambique State News Agency.

Proof-of-life tests were carried out to assess the effectiveness of officials in the country, which rated as the 153rd most corrupt country in the 2017 Transparency International Index ranking.

The biennial check probed around 348,000 workers, the minister said.