Mozambique: Opposition leader says “normal” for president to be notified

Renamo leader Ossufo Momade on Tuesday said it was “normal” for the President of Mozambique to be notified by an English court in the context of a process related to the case of the state’s ‘hidden debts’.

“This is normal in any country, all that’s needed is a separation of powers. This should start here in Mozambique, not in America or France,” the leader of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) said in allusion to actions initiated by international justice bodies.

Ossufo Momade was speaking before going into a Renamo meeting in Maputo. “Therefore, we have a concrete proposal: the separation of powers. As long as there is no separation of powers, we will not have full justice,” in Mozambique, he said.

“The leader of the main opposition party considers the separation necessary to fight corruption, drawing a parallel with other cases. Every thief, every corrupt person, anyone who has used means that are not his, needs to be heard. This is normal in any country,” he said.

Ossufo Momade’s statement comes two days after the Mozambican president and leader of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo), Filipe Nyusi, urged a “relentless fight” against corruption in his closing speech to the Frelimo Central Committee meeting.

“The problem is with the system”

On Tuesday, the Renamo leader questioned the sincerity of Nyusi’s intervention and presented himself as an alternative to the current “system”.

Momade called for everyone to “keep their eyes open”. “No-one who is corrupt or a thief can fight another thief. The solution to corruption lies with Renamo and Ossufo Momade,” he advanced.

“It is not that there are no experts at Frelimo. The problem is with the system. They can come from America, France or England,” he said, but anyone who “arrives here in Mozambique and gets into that group, he is spoiled, and loses judgment and morals”, Momade concluded.

President notified

Naval contractor Privinvest was on Friday authorised by a British court to summon the Mozambican president, Filipe Nyusi, as one of the parties of interest to be heard in connection with the proceedings in London.

The Attorney General of Mozambique launched the British court case in 2019 to try to cancel the US$622 million (€507 million euros) debt owed by state-owned company ProIndicus to Credit Suisse and claim compensation to cover all losses resulting from the scandal.

Photo by Estacio Valoi

At issue are US$2.2 billion (€1.8 billion euros) loans taken out between 2013 and 2014 by Mozambican state-owned companies Proindicus, Ematum and MAM from the British branches of investment banks Credit Suisse and VTB.

Mozambique alleges that then finance minister Manuel Chang did not have the authority to sign the sovereign guarantees that supported the debt, claiming they are unconstitutional and illegal, because the Mozambican parliament did not approve them.

Privinvest notes that Filipe Nyusi was minister of defence at the time, and has also named then president Armando Guebuza as another party it wishes to summon to court.

“There were a number of different types of agreements and payments, which, as far as my clients are aware, were legitimate agreements and payments. Among those to whom or on whose behalf payments were made is the President of the Republic, President Nyusi, who was then the defence minister,” Privinvest attorney Duncan Matthews has said.

Source: Deutsche Welle

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