LIBREVILLE, 26 December 2020 – Gendarmes facing credible complaints of racketeering will henceforth be suspended from work without pay pending investigation, Gabonese officials have announced.
Officers will be suspected for a period of 45 days without pay and for three to six months, depending on rank, a spokesperson for the Gendarmerie Captain Alexis Tchanga Myouendi told reporters in the Gabonese capital, Libreville.
The measures are part of a plan by the National Gendarmerie to stamp out corruption and racketeering among its corps.
Gabonese officials have set up a toll free number – 1401 – and has invited citizens to use it to report cases of corruption.
Citizens are invited to call should they witness or be the victims of any acts of racketeering or corruption by gendarme officers or other public servants for that matter.
“Do not give any money to gendarme officers unless they issue you a receipt from the National Treasury,” Captain Tchanga Myouendi said in renarjs broadcast by state-owned media.
Public transport companies and drivers have repeatedly complained about security check points by gendarme officers being transformed into “toll gates” at which they pay bribes that benefit corrupt officers.
The racketing that is the focused of the stricter disciplinary guidelines involves gendarme officers taking bribes from automobilists, bike riders and passengers in public transportation vehicles.