In a passionate address, General Brice Oligui Nguema, Gabon’s incoming transitional president following the ousting of the 55-year Bongo dynasty, has strongly criticized corruption within state contractors and urged business leaders to prioritize the nation’s development.
Summoning approximately 200 Gabonese business executives to a meeting on Thursday, the general expressed his concerns about firms engaging in overbilling for their services. The televised speech was broadcast on state television the following day.
Nguema’s comments address long-standing allegations made by opponents of the former regime, who claimed that contractors with close ties to the government habitually inflated their prices on state contracts in exchange for kickbacks to high-ranking officials.
General Nguema declared, “It is difficult to perceive, at this stage, your commitment or patriotism when it comes to the development expected by our compatriots,” Nguema said, vowing to make sure the overcharged money “comes back to the state”.
“This situation, for me, cannot continue, and I will not tolerate it”.
In a parallel development, national television aired footage of the detained son of the deposed president, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, along with other arrested officials, standing beside suitcases allegedly filled with seized cash from their residences. The military has levelled multiple charges against them, including treason, embezzlement, corruption, and the falsification of the president’s signature, among others.