25 April 2010

Ministry admits its public servants involved in illegal rice sales to the poor at night

MTCI finally admitted that its staff sell rice during nighttimes Diario Nacional  April 15, 2010   language source: Tetun - Inspector General for the Food Security and Economy of the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, Florentina Smith, stated Wednesday that the staff of the Ministry were involved in selling the government subsidised rice to the public at night because of poor distribution systems in place.

“To date we cannot detect who has been involved due to a shortage of human resources however we are working together with the police to detect them ,” said Smith.

She said that in the future she would work hard to make changes in her department to make an effective distribution system.

“We are committed to improving the system so that it can benefit everyone, especially those who don’t have purchasing capacity,” said Smith.

She added that the ministry is now investigating companies who sell the subsidised rice in order to identify the staff of the Ministry who are involved in selling the rice illegally. 

Hosorio Correia, Storeroom Manager of the MTCI, said that there was rotten rice in the storeroom due to bad management of the Ministry.

“It is true that there is rotten rice in the storage which is caused by leaked sacks and rain and that sacks of rice are stock-piled only on the floor,” said Correia.

In relation to rotten rice bought by the people, he admitted that it was drivers who wanted to take it with them but it was not intended to be sold.

“We don’t have any plan to sell rotten rice to the population and the Ministry is not responsible for the rotten rice in the hands of the population,” he said.

The ministry recently decided to distribute rice to existing community structures but at the same it also sells the rice to private companies.

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