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In northern Mozambique’s Nampula province, members of the provincial capital’s municipal assembly are accusing Mayor Mahamudo Amurane of blackmail. At least 45 deputies from three political parties have not received their salaries since July, allegedly because they blocked a readjustment of the municipal budget which included travel expenses and representation allowances for the mayor and his team.
According to the head of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), Americo Iemenle, these items constitute “perks” worth more than EUR 13,000 which have so far not been adequately justified.
“We recommend that he presents all the justifications for travel abroad, because it has been budgeted at more than one million meticais. How was this money spent?” he asked, adding that “if in the next session the mayor fails to present the document reviewed [justifying the funds], we will have to act”.
The president of the MDM, Daviz Simango, expressed his solidarity with the party’s 24 municipal MPs in Nampula and paid the salaries for one of the two months, a gesture commended by his supporters, but the problem remains unresolved.
Mayor subjects the payment of salaries to budget approval
Mayor Mahamudo Amurane says he will only be able to pay the salaries if the City Council approves the budget adjustment. “I am not responsible for legalising expenditure and since I did not have the money to pay this allowance, I naturally had no way of executing the expenses. I have already spoken with the Assembly to organise an extraordinary session, and I would pay. If that doesn’t happen, we hope that it will be approved in the next session,” he says.
Filomena Mutoropa, the only representative of the Humanitarian Party of Mozambique (PAHUMO), disputes the mayor’s argument, because other municipal officials received their salaries.
“We are outraged because he says he doesn’t have the money to pay the members of the municipal assembly, but he has paid the salaries of employees. How so?” she asks.
The head of the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO), Pedro Khulyumba, agrees with the municipal deputies and says that there is money to pay the wages until at least November.
“There is a budget allocation for the payment of members of the municipal assembly at least until November, so it is unjustifiable that there is no payment in July and August. So much so that this is just blackmail by the president,” he argues.
The Nampula municipal assembly is due to meet once again this month in ordinary session to analyze and approve the budget readjustment for this year. The members of the assembly are asking the mayor to clarify all the expenses he has incurred by then.Source: Deutsche Welle