Tunisia: Public Transit Remains Focus of Corruption, Mismanagement Probes

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Economic, Legal, Political, Tunisia


Early last week, prosecutors announced arrest warrants for four TRANSTU officials accused of financial mismanagement as public sector firms remain under scrutiny for corruption and mismanagement.

TRANSTU is the state-operated mass transit authority responsible for bus, metro, and light rail operations in the Grand Tunis metropolitan area.

The officials are accused of mismanaging the acquisition of a central air-conditioning system for a TRANSTU facility, ultimately leading to malfunctions and financial losses.

The latest legal actions come after President Kais Saied conducted an unannounced visit to multiple transit hubs in Tunis, decrying their condition. The minister of transport was dismissed shortly thereafter.

Additionally, the recent events follow a report indicating that TRANSTU loses an estimated 20 million TND per year due to “free riders” on its various lines. “Free riders” – or those who ride without paying a fare – make up an estimated 40% of all TRANSTU riders.


Public firms continue to face scrutiny over corruption and mismanagement as President Kais Saied works to make his anti-corruption campaign a reality in the lead-up to the presidential elections in late 2024.

While recent probes have focused on former officials, the legal actions targeting TRANSTU focus on current officials, potentially risking pushback from the public sector labor union, the UGTT.

Similar actions are likely to continue to be taken by the administration and publicized, particularly against those entities responsible for the public-facing services by which many Tunisians are perpetually frustrated.

The President likely views these legal actions as a means to solidify public support in the run-up to the elections later this year.


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