Senegal: Hundreds of people demonstrate against the mismanagement of Covid funds


Hundreds of Senegalese demonstrated in Dakar this Friday to demand legal action after numerous irregularities were detected in a report by the Court of Auditors on the management of anti-Covid funds, an AFP journalist said.

The crowd gathered in the Place de la Nation in Dakar, under the call of a dozen civil society organizations, shouting “To the thieves” and “You will not digest our billions!

A large police force was deployed around the square to supervise the concentration, which was authorized by the prefect and supported by the opposition, which has repeatedly denounced the “theft” by the authorities in recent days.

In mid-December, an audit was carried out by the Senegalese Court of Auditors on the “Response Fund against the effects of Covid-19” worth more than 740,000 million CFA francs (more than 1,100 million euros), financed by donors and the State in 2020 and 2021, pointed to “deficiencies”, “overbilling” or “lack of evidence” of spending.

Civil society demands the resignation of all those involved and the reimbursement of the alleged deviations.

The Government has defended itself by emphasizing that the reported deficiencies affect less than one percent of the total amount of the fund and has promised to follow the recommendations of the Court of Auditors.

“Let justice be done. I am here to denounce the misappropriation of the funds,” said Alioune Tine, founder of the Afrikajom Center and a civil society figure.

“I am here to denounce impunity and the impartiality of justice. I am outraged to see that our leaders have embezzled our billions while we were between life and death,” said Papis Diatta, a 35-year-old protester.

The slogan “No to the third term” appeared on several banners, due to the doubt that persists about the decision of President Macky Sall, elected in 2012 for seven years and re-elected in 2019 for five years, to run again for the presidency in 2024.

Protesters also chanted the name and called for the release of Pape Alé Niang, a journalist detained for more than a month for “revealing information that could harm national defense”, who was released and then detained on December 20.


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