Two weeks ago, the Public Health Ministry had no choice but to pull its announcement banning staff from using state office resources for personal reasons, including charging their personal mobile phones. Such a reverse was understandable. The ministry received a barrage of criticism saying the measures were ''out of touch with reality". The backlash was strong enough to force public health permanent secretary Jessada Chokdamrongsuk, who signed the announcement on Dec 29, to retract it on Jan 6, just a week later. Mr Jessada explained the ministry will review whether the ban is a suitable policy or not.The ban on charging personal mobile devices was just a small part of the announcement's content which also banned 4,000 ministry staff from various other activities, citing the need to set clear boundaries to prevent conflicts of interest.For example, the ban also covered the personal use of office equipment, materials and supplies; personal use of ministry vehicles; assigning officials … [Read more...] about Phone chat distracts from corruption fight
Hanoi/Los Angeles – Vietnam is gripped by its highest profile corruption trial in memory, but some spectators are questioning whether the Communist Party elite in the dock were charged because of infighting in the ruling class or a crackdown on abuse of office.Onlookers have gathered at the Hanoi People’s Court since Monday for a glimpse of Dinh La Thang, the first politburo member to be arrested in decades, and Trinh Xuan Thanh, a state oil firm executive who Germany says was kidnapped from Berlin by Vietnamese agents.Led to the court in handcuffs along with 20 other defendants, their simple clothes and rough haircuts contrasted with their former well-groomed images as scions of the establishment.They face charges related to losses of hundreds of millions of dollars at state oil giant PetroVietnam. Reuters was unable to contact either the defendants or the lawyers representing them for comment.“This trial has raised a voice against corruption, but is not effective … [Read more...] about At Vietnam’s biggest corruption trial, some sceptical views
The government has declared ending corruption is a national priority and, of late, it has come up with various anti-graft campaigns. But it should be aware that a key factor for the success of anti-graft campaigns is that they should begin at home.The Public Health Ministry last week issued an announcement prohibiting its officials from using office supplies and assets for personal reasons to prevent conflicts of interest and save on power costs.The announcement, signed on Dec 29, prohibits all 400,000 ministry staff from various activities including the personal use of office equipment, materials or supplies; personal use of ministry vehicles; assigning officials to drive ministry cars for personal business; parking personal vehicles overnight on ministry grounds; cleaning personal or family vehicles on ministry grounds and charging personal mobile phones at the office.Among these stipulations, the ban on mobile phone charging, in particular, faced an avalanche of criticism. Many … [Read more...] about War against corruption must begin at home
HANOI: Vietnam brought 22 executives to court over losses at the state oil firm on Monday, in the most important trial of a widening crackdown on corruption. Among those being tried was the first politburo member to be arrested in decades In a separate trial in Ho Chi Minh City, a banking fraud case began with 46 defendants.As well as shedding light on graft, mismanagement and nepotism within state firms at a time privatisation is accelerating, the arrests show the ascendancy of a more conservative faction within the ruling Communist Party. How many people are involved?Scores have been arrested across PetroVietnam and the banking sector. Some have been tried and sentenced already. The most senior figure arrested is former PetroVietnam Chairman Dinh La Thang, among those whose trial started on Monday. Neither he nor his lawyer was available for comment. Germany has accused Vietnam of kidnapping one PetroVietnam suspect, Trinh Xuan Thanh, who was also among the 22 in court. More than … [Read more...] about What’s behind Vietnam’s corruption crackdown?
HARARE, ZIMBABWE—Two former Zimbabwean cabinet ministers aligned with a faction loyal to ousted leader Robert Mugabe face corruption charges.Samuel Undenge, a former energy minister, and Walter Mzembi, a former foreign affairs and tourism minister, were released on bail Saturday after spending a night in detention in the southern African nation.Undenge is accused of corruption in connection with the awarding of energy contracts while Mzembi allegedly misused resources earmarked for a tourism conference in 2013.They are among a number of former ministers and top officials in Zimbabwe arrested or questioned over corruption allegations since the military helped President Emmerson Mnangagwa take over from longtime leader Mugabe in November.Many of those arrested are aligned with a ruling party faction associated with the former president’s family. … [Read more...] about Ex-Cabinet ministers aligned with ousted Robert Mugabe face corruption charges in Zimbabwe