The “Alex Segura” affair, involving the former resident representative of the International Monetary Fund in Dakar, for which a great part of the facts have already been acknowledged by IMF services, brings to light a large number of violations (handing over a substantial sum of money in cash to a civil servant of an international institution for a manifestly disreputable purpose, illegal holding and transfer of currency). At the time when the protests mount in Senegal and around the world, these facts are ensnarling all the protagonists in this scandal, starting with the Senegalese authorities. As to Senegal and its highest officials, the indiscretion is so grotesque that it would be hard to believe if, unfortunately, Abdoulaye Wade and his system hadn’t already accustomed the Senegalese people to their depraved morals in dealings with money of obscure origins, which they think can corrupt everyone and anyone.
In this expansion on an international scale of the contemptible practices of the Abdoulaye Wade regime, one fact is undeniably recognized: there was an attempt at corruption involving the former resident representative of the IMF in Dakar. The following question needs to be asked: what explains this “royal” gift involving such a large sum of money given to a civil servant at the end of a mission? Is it for retribution for services rendered by a witness of the disastrous financial management with its accompanying scandals, in which the ANOCI (National Agency for the Organization of the Islamic Conference) affair was just the last misadventure, or was it to build, for the IMF and its agents, the symmetry of base acts of those in power in order to transfer their own discredit onto them, hoping in this way to thwart the effects of the notorious bad press that now plagues Senegal throughout the international community?
The Socialist Party questions the attitude of the former IMF representative in Dakar, who, by accepting a gift from the Senegalese authorities, overstepped the IMF Code of Conduct, even if later this attitude allowed the constitution of a body of evidence. In this corruption attempt, the most widespread suppositions and hypothesis in national public opinion are circulating around the highest government officials, who, moreover, do not even try to deny that they gave a large sum of public money to an international official who was about to leave our country.
The Socialist Party is not at all surprised by such suppositions if one judges it by the logic of predation and cheating that has always marked the course of action of the vile management that Abdoulaye Wade and his clan have imprinted on our country’s public affairs. Indeed, it is this same logic that organizes electoral fraud, manipulates the Constitution, laws and regulations, misrepresents the institutions, wastes public resources by buying a light for 8 million CFA franc (French African community franc) and by equipping offices for 750 million CFA franc, that refuses to surrender the ANOCI accounts and to subject its management to an independent and reliable audit, that squanders and sells off the Nation’s real estate and properties to private parties, who resell them to public enterprises for billions of CFA francs, etc. This affair illustrates the hypocrisy of those in power, a hypocrisy mitigated in solemn declarations in the Ministerial Council denouncing small instances of corruption while large-scale corruption flourishes at the highest levels of government. How can we raise our voices to fight against corruption in our country as well as at the international level when our highest officials partake in State corruption?
The Socialist Party and public opinion have no illusions about the diligence that overcautious judicial authorities or an unquestioning National Assembly should have already undertaken to investigate this very serious matter. In fact, the long list of financial scandals that go unpunished make us doubt any foreseeable initiative in this direction. In truth, the Senegal Government has already revealed what stance it will take in this affair with its not very convincing denials, at first followed by ineffective intimidations and now an embarrassing and shameless silence of its spokesperson, who is made to play a role in a staged production, whose scenario and players he surely knows nothing about.
The intrigues discovered give rise to an unacceptable doubt about the IMF, financial institutions and bilateral agencies of international cooperation that must be dispelled. What is at stake is the credibility and the authority of these agencies. Consequently, echoing the voices of the Senegalese people, the Socialist Party will not be content with the current explanations made by the IMF.
For these reasons, the Socialist Party, considering that this affair puts into question the credibility of the IMF’s and the World Bank’s stand on transparency and the fight against corruption, calls on the IMF to satisfy the legitimate demand of the Senegalese people for a full-scale, impartial and rigorous investigation.
Countries like the United States and those of the European Union, main contributors to the Bretton Woods institutions and providers of aid to Senegal, are also called upon for the same reasons as the IMF and the World Bank. It is their duty to apply all the necessary pressure and to bring all their support, collaboration and expertise to the necessary investigation to uncover the truth.
The inquest, whose conclusions have to be made public, must among other things:
- retrace the chronology of facts and events in a comprehensive, documented and detailed manner from the time of the dinner of Alex Segura at the Presidential Palace of the Republic until his arrival at the IMF headquarters in Washington, including his departure from the Dakar airport, the handing over and return of the “monetary gift to Senegalese authorities” (sic!);
- indicate the identity of the Senegalese authorities involved;
- identify the responsibilities of the different players;
- find out the origin and the amount of this large sum of money and the currencies that were used;
- make sure there are exemplary legal consequences for the perpetuators of the act, authors, intermediaries and order givers, and see to their effective application.
Respecting the United Nations Convention against corruption and that of the African Union for the prevention and the fight against corruption, both ratified by Senegal, the Socialist Party requires the full collaboration of the Senegalese Government in the IMF’s investigation and enlists the international community, the African Union and the UEMOA (West African Monetary and Economic Union) to make the same demands from Senegalese authorities.
The Socialist Party calls upon the international community, particularly the IMF, the World Bank and Senegal’s partner countries, to use the provisions of article 32 of the United Nations Convention against corruption in order to hold accountable those who shall be implicated in this corruption attempt, “the measures necessary to allow the identification, location, freezing or seizure" of "criminal proceeds" and “the equipment, property or other instruments used or intended to be used for the violations established pursuant to the Convention herein” for the purpose of “possible confiscation”. To put it more clearly, it means the tracking and seizure of the ill-gotten funds and property of these authorities, the proceeds of corruption that can be used in the future to corrupt.
The Socialist Party demands clarification of this affair because more than just the credibility of the IMF, it is the credibility of all international institutions and bilateral agencies of cooperation present in Senegal and the value of their judgments which is at stake. Indeed, how can we not wonder about the cause of the inertia of international agencies faced with embezzlement and draining of public moneys and the corrupt practices which are regularly carried out by those in power in the current regime? How could we not think about the complacency of these institutions in the face of scandals involving the hijacking of objectives, budget overspending and other patent over-billing as well as the denial of the disastrous management of the ANOCI, and in the face of all the indisputable and undisputed wrongdoing about which they maintain a perplexing silence?
In any case, this affair confirms the bad governance and the corruption in our country, which has suffered a pandemic scourge since Abdoulaye Wade came to power. It also confirms the soundness of the patriotic positions of democratic and social forces, which have not ceased for several years to denounce the financial decay established in the governing methods of the patriarchal wheeler-dealer regime of Abdoulaye
Wade. Finally, it reinforces the pertinence of the conclusions of Assises Nationales concerning corruption, which must be dealt with energetically like a destructive cancer threatening our social tissue and its ethic and moral foundations. All political and social forces, every citizen, must accurately size up the scourge, work to eradicate it and demand that the “Alex Segura” affair be brought to light, because the dignity of the Senegalese people and the honor of our country, Senegal, is at stake.
Done in Dakar on October 14, 2009
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