Civil Service Minister Carmelita Namashulua

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 percent of the poor African country’s state expenditure, did exist but were paid for jobs they did not undertake while others were dead or fictious.

“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 220 million euros ($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.

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