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$2 bn secret debt trial starts Monday in Maputo
J. Hanlon, Mozambique News Reports and Clippings
One of Mozambique’s biggest trials begins Monday (23 Aug), of 19 people accused of involvement in the $2.2 bn secret debt scandal. They include Ndambi Guebuza, the oldest son of former president Armando Guebuza; Gregorio Leao, the head of the Security and Intelligence Service (SISE) under Guebuza; Antonio do Rosario, the SISE officer who became chairperson of all three fraudulent companies; Guebuza’s political adviser, Renato Matusse; and Guebuza’s private secretary, Ines Moiane.
The trial will run at least until 6 October and will be broadcast live on Mozambican television. The trial is being held in a huge tent on the grounds of the Maputo top security prison.
The corrupt 2013 loans came from Credit Suisse and VTB banks. The prosecution has outlined the thread of bribes and links. Fixer Teofilo Nhangumele, contacted his old friend Bruno Langa, a SISE officer, to ask how to unblock matters; each received $8.5 mn. Langa turned to his friend and business partner, Ndambi Guebuza, the oldest son of the then President, Armando Guebuza. Ndambi agreed, provided he received adequate “thanks”. He took the project to his father, who gave the green light. The largest bribe was $33 mn, paid to Ndambi Guebuza, the prosecution says.
The first two defendants, to be heard on Monday, are Nhangumele and Cipriano Mutota. The former director of the Studies and Projects Office of SISE, Mutota received the proposal from Nhangumele and also received bribes of $980,000, the prosecution says.
Former president Armando Guebuza has been called as a witness on 6 October. The court rejected an attempt to call President Filipe Nyusi as a witness.
We are not going to provide full coverage of the trial.
The trial is being broadcast live on TV. For STV go to https://play.stv.co.mz/ and down to the bottom of the home page and click Assista aqui. For TVM: http://online.tvm.co.mz/site/emdirecto/tvm1 | Zitamar compiles a Hidden Debts Dossier. (Paywall)
Ex-Finance Minister Manuel Change will be sent back to Maputo, and not to the US, reports the Daily Maverick (21 Aug). Chang is charged in both the US and in Mozambique (not as part of the current case). Chang was arrested on a US extradition warrant in December 2018 in transit through Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and has been held him in jail since then.
In order to stop him being sent to the US where they were afraid he would incriminate senior Frelimo figures, Mozambique also issued an extradition request.
Chang has remained in jail in Johannesburg while the ANC leadership dithered, trying to decide if i wants to protect the reputation of Filipe Nyusi and other Frelimo leaders. Having just sent troops to Mozambique to support the government, it appears the ANC leadership also decided to return Chang.
Image by Ali Ramjy / Mediapix : Former President Armando Guebuza