– Libreville, 01 September – In a televised speech today, Gabon’s new strongman, General Brice Olegoy Nguema, decried corruption among businessmen awarded public contracts and urged business leaders to commit to the “development of the country”.
The general, who overthrew the 55-year-old Bongo dynasty and is due to be sworn in as transitional president next week, summoned 200 Gabonese businessmen to a meeting yesterday, in which he railed against companies making extra profits, and was broadcast on television today. Opponents of the Bongo regime have repeatedly accused government contractors of paying bribes to high-ranking government officials in return for highly lucrative government contracts.
“It is difficult at this stage to realize your commitment or your patriotism regarding the development that our citizens expect,” Nguema said, vowing to ensure “the return of corruption money to the state.” “This situation cannot continue and I will not tolerate it,” he stressed. While national television showed pictures of the son of the ousted president, Noureddine Bongo Valentin, and other officials who were arrested in front of bags full of cash that were supposedly seized from their homes. They are now charged with, among other charges, treason, embezzlement, bribery and forging the signature of the president.
Reproduction © Copyright ANSA Agency
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