Sunday, March 04, 2007

Politician declares Africa corrupt, gets sacked

"Corruption is everywhere -- in the villages, wherever", Zambia's Lands Minister Gladys Nyirango acknowledged at a major conference on graft in Africa last week. Hours later she was sacked.

Africa has long had a reputation as the most corrupt continent, with only two countries, Botswana and Mauritius, making it into the top 50 of the latest annual Transparency International index on clean governance.

But the crippling impact of graft on what is also the world's poorest continent is being increasingly recognised and some leaders are doing more than paying lip service to the problem.

Nyirango was axed by Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa while ironically attending an anti-corruption conference in Johannesburg. The conference was sponsored by the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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