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A petition requesting that the introduction of the ‘hidden debts’ into the General State Account of Mozambique be declared unconstitutional, which was submitted to the Constitutional Council nine months ago, is still awaiting a response.
The situation is “worrisome,” according to the Budget Monitoring Forum.
In a petition that has more than 2,000 signatures, the Budget Monitoring Forum [Fórum de Monitoria de Orçamento] maintains that the Constitutional Council should declare the Mozambican parliament’s resolution approving the General State Account of 2014 unconstitutional or illegal, as violating the law in a broad sense.
At the heart of the matter is the inclusion of the US$850 million 2013 Mozambican Tuna Company debt guaranteed by the state and without the knowledge of parliament or international partners.
André Manhice, project manager and communications officer at the Civil Society Training and Empowerment Centre, one of the organisations affiliated with the Budget Monitoring Forum, says the lack of response is cause for concern.
“As civil society, this situation worries us considerably, because it is a situation that should be treated with due urgency, taking into account not only the concern that has been raised but above all the consequences that have arisen,” he told DW Africa.
As a result, the country is negatively rated by several rating agencies, donors are not disbursing funds to the state budget, and investment has fallen, Manhice adds.
Constitutional Council: Lack of deadlines a weakness
Manhice also observes that the organic law of the Constitutional Council does not lay down deadlines for a response to requests for a declaration of unconstitutionality, and this is a weakness that must be remedied.
“We think the lack of time limits for response dilutes any sense of urgency, and the gravity of the processes submitted, which depend only on the availability of the Constitutional Council itself,” Manhice says.
Another cause of civil society concern is the lack of any reaction from the Attorney General’s Office to the audit carried out by the international consultancy Kroll, which points to irregularities and unconstitutionalities in the contracting of the EMATUM debt.Source: Deutsche Welle
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