In mid-February, Ndambi Guebuza, the son of a former president of Mozambique, was arrested for alleged links to a $2 billion government debt scandal. It followed the arrest in January in New York of Jean Boustani, a Lebanese national. Also arrested that same month in London were three Credit Suisse bankers, Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh and Detelina Subeva, of New Zealand, British and Bulgarian nationality respectively. In late December, Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang was arrested in South Africa.
The fee for issuing or renewing a biometric driving license in Mozambique will be increased by 500%. Other services provided by INATTER will also be subject to exorbitant increases this week, such as the issuing of a vehicle registration certificates [‘livrete’], which will go up to 1,850 meticais, and driving tests, which will be taxed at 2,185 meticais.
The unanimity of Renamo’s National Commission in the election of Ossufo Momade to temporarily lead the largest opposition party in Mozambique seems to indicate that this veteran soldier and politician, a Muslim hailing from the largest constituency in Mozambique, could be the successor to Afonso Dhlakama, whose confidence he had.
The Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, clarified on Monday (12) to A Verdade that the government had not reached any agreement with Russia’s Vnesh Torg Bank (VTB) regarding debts of more than 1 billion US dollars illegally contracted by Proinducus, EMATUM and MAM.
The independent Mozambican website “A Verdade” has confirmed that the person who signed the government guarantees for over two billion US dollars worth of loans for the quasi public companies EMATUM (Mozambique Tuna Company), Proindicus and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management) in 2013 and 2014 was the then Finance Minister, Manuel Chang.
When Mozambique’s civil war ended in1992, outside money began to trickle in. Foreign investors eyed mines, game reserves, islands and oil and gas deposits. Now, international financiers have turned to a new opportunity: farmland, especially in northern Mozambique’s Nacala Corridor. More than 95 percent of Mozambique’s cultivated land is worked by millions of families that farm for food and income. But that land may be at stake if one of the largest agricultural development deals in Africa valued at $4.2 billion, the Lurio River Valley Development project – is realised with up to 100 000 people displaced. Details leaked from the Panama Papers database show the project in Mozambique being orchestrated behind a web of opaque offshore companies with little in the way of credible track records, financing information or even brick-and-mortar offices.
As we face the challenges of the 21st century there is more that unites Africa and Europe than divides us. We share a common history of thousands of years. Today more than ever we need to work together to build our common future and to work jointly on the defining global issues of our age.
One of the most active fronts of political and military conflict, which has been taking place for several months in various regions of Mozambique, is in Murrupula district in the northern province of Nampula. A contingent of government police forces (PRM) was recently dispatched to the neighborhood of Naphuco to restore order allegedly being disrupted by armed Renamo men, and a police agent was kidnapped. In actuality, it was an elite squad of government forces that was sent to the site, not normal police patrol.
“(…) We made a defensive circle, where we all stopped and aimed our fire. But we did not give them a chance to respond because we went in the early morning. When they counter fired we all ran off and he remained,” tells an agent of the Special Forces Rapid Intervention Unit (FIR) of PRM. The same FIR agent continues that he himself has conducted several “missions” to eliminate targets identified by his commanders.
One of these missions took place on September 25th, 2015 in Zimpinga (41 kilometers east of Chimoio on National Road No. 6, between Gondola and Amatongas Mission), where the order was to eliminate Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Renamo. “That old man (Dhlakama) does not die,” he says.
Read below a chilling account, made by a PRM special ops agent who claims to have participated, and therefore also witnessed, such missions. “We are tired. We have not won anything and we cannot stop thinking about it,” says the agent, born in Maputo in 1985 and whose full identity @Verdade will not reveal.
“I was in the military at the Special Forces Training Centre of Nacala,” says the agent. “I was there as a Weapons and Firing Assistant Instructor”. Some time after completing his military service he worked for a private security company and then was integrated in the ranks of PRM. “I joined the police; They made a selection. They wanted those who had been in the military, those who had taken the weapons course, to be part of FIR, but stationed with the Presidential guard. I worked in the RP1 and RP2,” he says. ‘RP’ stands for Protocol Residences belonging to the Presidency.
During a protest by Palmeiras’ residents, in the Manhica district, Maputo Province, on 22 January against alleged ineffectiveness of law and order officers in fighting crime that is rising alarmingly, the police again deliberately used live ammunition to disperse unarmed and unprotected people. Inacio Dina, spokesman for the Mozambican National Police (PR) General Command, downplayed the situation and ignored the fact that one of the basic human rights was violated -the right to life -when his colleagues killed a youth whose family undoubtedly will not receive compensation from the state.
The health of Manuel Bissopo, the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) secretary general and MP shot on 20 January in Beira by unidentified shooters “is stable” but requires “much care,” Renamo spokesman Antonio Muchanga told @Verdade. The Mozambican Human Rights League (LDH) suspects that the attack had “political motives” caused by the deterioration of a series of political events that not only dragged the country to the current military tension but also widen the gap between the government and Renamo further.