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Adriano Maleiane. File photo: Voa
Mozambique’s Economy and Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane told parliament today that the outcome of the state’s negotiations with the lenders of the country’s ‘hidden debts’ would be that Mozambique was “at peace with the world.”
“We are aware of everything that is happening and we are sure that the situation will improve. We will have an outcome that leaves us at peace with the world” and able to access international financial markets, “because Mozambique – including the private sector – deserves to have [access to] these funds”.
Adriano Maleiane was answering MPs’ questions on the second day of discussion of the General State Account for 2017, and follows on an April statement that an agreement in principle to restructure the MAM debt of US$535 million had been reached.
The government had already entered reached agreement with most of Ematum’s US$727 million Eurobond holders in November 2018, and in February filed a lawsuit in London to nullify the remaining US$600 million or so of Proindicus debt to Credit Suisse, some of whose former bankers are currently awaiting a court decision on their extradition to the United States.
Ematum, Proindicus and MAM are the three companies at the centre of the corruption investigation launched by the US courts, followed by several arrests since the beginning of the year in Mozambique, including a son of former president Armando Guebuza and other individuals close to him.
Former finance minister Manuel Chang, who between 2013 and 2014 sanctioned debts without the knowledge of parliament and international partners, has been detained in South Africa since December 2018 awaiting a decision on extradition requests filed by both Mozambique and the US – the latter in the same lawsuit involving the former Credit Suisse officials.
“For all these debts, the principle is: first we must all defend the interests of the Mozambican state – and MPs already know that the Attorney General’s Office is at the forefront of this process,” Maleiane said.
“Defending the interests of the state and of Mozambicans” is the priority, he reiterated.
Minister Maleiane enumerated several procedures stemming from recent changes to the law aimed at ensuring that no such concealment of loans to public companies could happen again.
Treasury operations would be subject to the scrutiny of the General Inspection of Finances, which Maleiane classified as a “State auditor”, by the Administrative Tribunal (“an external auditor”), and by the Assembly of the Republic.
In addition to these institutions, the Attorney General’s Office was also required to involve itself in certain operations.Source: Lusa
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