Hidden debts: "Internal hand" may be delaying audit in Mozambique
Auditing firm Kroll is due to deliver its report on the public companies with hidden state-guaranteed debts to the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) of Mozambique today.
Contacted by Lusa on yesterday, a PGR source declined to specify what kind of communication was expected, even after three postponements since the consultant was chosen by the Public Prosecutor’s Office to conduct the investigation, in November 2016.
At the time, the audit was expected to be completed in three months, but six months have already passed. On the occasion of the last postponement in April, the PGR announced that “the work of re-verification and of the competent translation into the official Portuguese language” was still in progress, pushing the publishing date to May 12.
However, a Kroll source was quoted by the Wall Street Journal on May 3 as saying the postponement was the resulting of needing time to analyse “relevant documents” they were still receiving, and to establish exactly where the borrowed money had gone.
In dispute is the fate of about US$2.2 billion of debt contracted between 2013 and 2014 by three state-owned enterprises with foreign banks ‘with government guarantees that have not been approved in parliament or entered in the public accounts’, as announced by the PGR in November 2016.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a group of 14 international donors froze support to the state budget and demanded an audit as a precondition for resuming support. The Mozambican government has since admitted its inability to pay its creditors, putting the country technically in default and lowering its ranking with credit rating agencies still further.Source: Lusa
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