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Lusa (File photo) / Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário
Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário said yesterday that the government understood the indignation regarding the purchase of luxury vehicles by the state, and announced a revision of the law on the privileges of former leaders.
“We understand society’s concern about the purchase of vehicles for the state,” Carlos Agostinho do Rosário told the Assembly of the Republic during parliamentary questions.
Reiterating the explanations that had already been given on Wednesday by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the prime minister said that 39 of the 45 cars at the centre of the scandal were acquired in 2015, and included in the State Budget for that year.
“In fact, in 2015 the acquisition of vehicles for the equipping of the organs and institutions of the State was carried out, whose regularisation process was recently carried out in compliance with the recommendation of the Administrative Court,” Agostinho do Rosário said.
Recognising that the disclosure of luxury car purchases comes at a difficult time economically for the country, Do Rosário announced that a revision of the legislation on the rights and perks of the top state officials was under way.
“The government is implementing fiscal consolidation measures in a context of which legislation regarding the rights and privileges of the superior officials of the state is being revised in order to adapt them to the current challenging economic situation,” the prime minister said.
The Mozambican Ministry of Economy and Finance reported on Wednesday that 39 of the 45 luxury cars intended for state officials and whose purchase has outraged public opinion were acquired in 2015.
The Mozambican Ministry of Economy and Finance has published tenders for the purchase of 45 vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz and Rangers, in the newspaper Notícias, the country’s largest newspaper, attracting a wave of indignation.
In all, the 45 vehicles cost the state’s treasury 118 million meticais (EUR 1.6 million) at a time of drastic budget cuts due to the suspension in 2016 of international partners’ aid.
In a press conference, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Mozambique, Domingos Lambo, said that 39 of the 45 vehicles, worth 89 million meticais (1.2 million Euros) were bought in 2015, based on the forecast of the State Budget approved in that year.
Domingos Lambo added that the remaining six vehicles were acquired between 2016 and 2017 and cost about 29 million meticais (EUR 410,000).
“These are regularisation of acquisitions made in 2015, well before the suspension [by the international community] of general support to the state budget,” Lambo said.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance has now announced the results of the tenders for the procurement of these vehicles, as obliged to by the Administrative Court to correct errors detected in the proceedings.
“What happened is that the Administrative Court recommended that all procurement processes in the General Account of 2015 be regularised,” the permanent secretary explained.Source: Lusa