Democratic Republic of Congo sacked 119 high-ranking civil servants as part of a presidential drive to clean up the often corrupt and chaotic government agencies in the central African country.
President Jospeh Kabila, who is struggling with an economy burdened by external debt and in need of more income from the mining projects that form its backbone, signed a decree removing the disgraced employees from the finance and budget ministries.
“Each of the agents concerned has either committed faults that constitute serious breaches of the honour, dignity and duties attached to their position or has been sentenced to a confirmed prison sentence longer than three months at least once,” said the decree, signed on January 2 and enacted yesterday.
A further 2500 civil servants, mainly from the tax and customs offices, were forced to retire though they were not accused of wrongdoing.
Many Congolese government workers stay in their jobs past retirement age to keep their salaries, rather than rely on uncertain or non-existent pensions.
Several branches of the tax and customs administrations were on strike for most of December, paralysing many import-export businesses.