‘Enough is enough’: Corruption is rife at the heart of the AU, claims senior official

A member of the African Union’s Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) has resigned, claiming that no effort was made to fight corruption at the heart of the organisation.

Daniel Batidam, who served as chair of the board in 2017, tendered his resignation on June 8. In his resignation letter, which was seen by the Mail & Guardian, he said:

“After witnessing several instances and degrees of bad governance, including the abuse of entrusted power (or corruption), lack of probity, accountability, transparency and integrity at the Secretariat of the AUABC and some Departments of the AU Commission itself for over a period of three years now, while all efforts at seeking redress have yielded no result, I have decided on grounds of principle that enough is enough.”

In a damning indictment, Batidam told Ghanaian media that he was not asked by the African Union Commission to elaborate on the accusations contained in his resignation letter. “I thought I will be called to provide evidence for the reasons listed. Honestly, the letter was just accepted without questions.”

Batidam served as the anti-corruption adviser to former Ghanaian president John Mahama, and is the executive director of the African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption.

Three sources within the African Union, who asked not to be named, supported Batidam’s account of an organisation that is not prepared to tackle corruption within its own ranks. “There are some senior officials who are very corrupt. And the Chairperson [Moussa Faki Mahamat] seems powerless to do anything about it. Let me paraphrase Fela Kuti. I look left, I look right, I see no governance,” said one high-level source.

The M&G has approached the African Union for comment.

In May, a Mail & Guardian investigation revealed accusations of routine gender discrimination against women employees at the AU, including accusations of nepotism against Peace and Security Department Commissioner Smail Chergui.

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Simon Allison
Simon Allison, The Continent
Simon Allison is the Africa editor of the Mail & Guardian, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Continent. He is a 2021 Young Africa Leadership Initiative fellow.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Following the wildlife traffickers’ money

The illegal wildlife trade is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises worldwide, but only recently has the focus shifted to investigating its financial flows

Story of a whistleblower: ‘Baba, do you think you are...

Whistleblower Thabiso Zulu can’t explain his situation to his son, but continues to expose wrongdoing and show solidarity with others

Cele, Sitole beef continues at hearings into July’s unrest

The minister again accused the commissioner of being missing in action when the violence raged in KwaZulu-Natal

Shell gets go-ahead to proceed with seismic blasting on the...

The high court refuses to interdict seismic survey on the basis that ‘irreparable harm’ to marine species not proved
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×