Under pressure

LUANDA - Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos must name government officials he has accused of siphoning off the wealth of Africa's top oil producer, the main opposition Unita party said yesterday.

President Dos Santos said on Saturday that some officials had taken advantage of weak supervision over government spending to squander state resources.

He urged the ruling MPLA party to have "zero tolerance" on corruption.

Unita leader Isaias Samakuva said he wanted to know how much cash the officials suspected were accused of skimming from state coffers, adding that the war-scarred country's oil wealth had turned many in the ruling party into millionaires.

"It is necessary that Angolans know the names of the government officials the president referred to as irresponsible people and people of bad faith," Samakuva said.

He said the MPLA was to blame for the corruption and he would submit a vote of no confidence against the government in parliament.

The move should have little impact on the MPLA, which won 82percent of the vote in elections last year and controls more than two-thirds of the seats in parliament.

"This government no longer deserves the confidence of the people. It deserves zero tolerance, like the president recently acknowledged," Samakuva said.

The attorney-general's office said on Monday officials in the Central Bank and Finance Ministry had illegally transferred money abroad and promised to recover the missing funds.

The statement, issued days after Dos Santos called for a graft crackdown, was short on details and did not say how many officials were involved, how much money had been stolen or when charges might be expected.

In its 2009 index, global corruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Angola among the 18 most graft-ridden countries. - Reuters