SADC Extraordinary MCO Troika, plus Personnel Contributing Countries deliberate on security ...
File photo: RM
The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Thursday unanimously approved a government bill to strengthen the legislation against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Introducing the bill, Justice Minister Helena Kida said the preventive measures being introduced are intended to make it difficult to use the Mozambican financial system and other sectors of economic activity for criminal purposes.
The bill, she said, also brings Mozambican legislation into line with United Nations conventions and resolutions.
Kida added it was also necessary to revise the law, so as to introduce into the Mozambican legal order “the typification of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as criminal conduct in line with United Nations resolutions”.
Kida stressed that Mozambique is suffering from terrorist attacks in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, which made it critical “to strengthen the legal framework for combatting the financing of terrorism”.
The bill will, for the first time, oblige churches, NGOs and foundations to publish annual accounts, in an attempt to prevent these bodies from being used for money laundering. Non-profit making bodies, stressed Kida “must publish annual financial statements which include a detailed breakdown of their income and expenditure”.
These bodies must also keep, for at least eight years, “sufficiently detailed records of national and international operations to allow verification of whether the funds were used in accordance with the objectives of the organization”.
There will be legitimate doubts as to whether these articles will be enforced. For Mozambican political parties are already legally obliged to publish annual accounts, but none of them do so.
The 1991 law on political parties said that political party accounts must show where their funds come from, and how they were used. The annual accounts of each party must be published in the official gazette, the “Boletim da Republica”, and in a mass circulation newspaper.
30 years have elapsed since the Assembly passed that law, and neither the ruling Frelimo Party, nor any opposition party, has ever published their accounts.