According to a recent survey, 74% of Moroccans believe that officials are actively involved in corrupt practices.
The ministry launched an investigation after an audio recording of a conversation between the suspect and the manager of a charitable organization went viral on social media.
“An audio recording was recently shared on social networks … in the form of sequences of telephone conversations between an individual posing as a manager of a charitable organization in the province of Nador who suggests to divert food aid for the benefit of his interlocutor, presented as an official from the same province,” the ministry wrote in a statement.
In the recording, the official agrees to take the food products, originally destined for needy households, for personal consumption.
The Ministry of the Interior launched an investigation as soon as the recording was shared online. Authorities quickly identified the official talking in the audio file and suspended him from his duties, pending his appearance in front of a disciplinary council.
Despite the Moroccan government’s efforts to tackle corruption, it remains a major problem hindering the country’s progress and development.
Morocco ranks 80th out of 180 countries in terms of corruption prevalence, according to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. The country fell seven ranks between 2018 and 2019.
In January, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said Morocco is on the right track in the fight against corruption. The government is “strongly committed” to fighting corruption, he stipulated.
El Othmani recalled Morocco’s adoption of the UN Convention against Corruption in 2007, and of the Arab convention on fighting corruption in 2010.
Morocco is currently operating the 2016-2025 national anti-corruption strategy. The plan includes a program for e-administration, programs for ethics, transparency, and access to information, and a program for public contracts, control, and accountability.
The strategy’s results, however, remain intangible for a large majority of Moroccans.
In December 2019, a study revealed that 74% of Moroccans believe the government is not doing enough to tackle corruption and that politicians are actively involved in bribery and corrupt practices.
Approximately 53% of the Moroccans questioned in the survey believe that institutional corruption is on the rise, and more than 31% admitted to paying a bribe in the past 12 months.