Africa Monitor

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Sao Tome and Principe: Justice Sector Gaps and Corruption Persist

The Justice sector is identified in an assessment recently launched by the United Nations (UNDP) as the one with the greatest weaknesses in São Tomé and Príncipe.
The assessment concludes that the institutions of justice are weak and that there are still "selective, elitist and discriminatory" justice phenomena, in addition to worrying levels of corruption in the judicial system and impunity for political elites.

Elaborated over the past few years, between the end of the Government of PATRICE TROVOADA (PT) and the beginning of the mandate of JORGE BOM JESUS (JBJ), the report also points out the lack of human resources in quantity and quality.
It is also noted the large amount of "outdated" legislation and untyped crimes.

Judicial institutions and courts have been the focus of constant political tensions, most recently between the PGR Inaudy KELVE Nobre de CARVALHO (KC) appointed at the end of the mandate of PT´s ADI Government, and the director of the Judicial Police (PJ), MARIBEL ROCHA (MR), already appointed by the JBJ Government.

Of the 5 sectors assessed by the UN/ UNDP, that of Security is, after Justice, the one in which the greatest weakness is identified. In particular, the institutions are seen as highly dependent on international cooperation in the field of training, equipment and technology.

It is also pointed out that the collection of tax revenues remains very dependent on customs, together with an "asphyxiating increase" in fiscal pressure on companies and families. At the level of public administration, remunerations are low, as are skills, and corruption, collusion and nepotism still predominate. READ MORE