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File photo: Folha de Maputo
Mozambique’s former transport and communications minister, Paulo Zucula, admitted in court on Wednesday that he authorised the payment of allowances considered improper by the justice system, saying his aim was to improve the performance of the country’s Civil Aviation Institute (IACM).
The trial of Zucula, who was transport and communications minister between 2008 and 2013 and is accused of having authorised illegal remunerations to managers at the IACM, began yesterday.
He told the court that when he began his role as minister, “there was lack of motivation and poor performance” within the institution, which he said was “fundamental for air safety”.
Zucula said he trusted that the diligence would be carried out by IACM’s board of directors, the Institute being endowed with financial and administrative autonomy.
He claimed he only learnt that his acts were illegal in 2017, three years after he had left the post, and when he was notified by the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption.
Zucula’s trial comes at a time when corruption is the subject of heightened attention in Mozambique following the detention of influential figures for alleged involvement in a debt scandal involving over €1 billion.Source: Lusa