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Prime Minister of Mozambique Carlos Agostinho do Rosario said in parliament today that investigations and prosecutions in the case of state’s hidden debts are being taken into account when negotiating with creditors.
“The latest developments in national and international justice institutions related to the debt dossier present new elements that are being taken into account in interacting with creditors” so that “solutions are found to safeguard national interests”, do Rosario said in government responses to questions posed by parliamentary benches.
The prime minister pointed out that “the only debts” the government is repaying are multilateral and bilateral debts to partner countries and other international institutions such as the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the Islamic Bank.
The prime minister reaffirmed the position he had already taken in January, but this time he presented as an example the action of the Mozambican Attorney General’s Office, which had “triggered mechanisms” in a court in London, “which include the request for cancellation of the sovereign guarantee associated with the syndicated debt of Proindicus”, one of the three public companies allegedly used to justify undeclared debts.
The attorney general’s move was announced at the end of February and concerns a share of at least US$600 million of the total US$2.2 billion at stake.
After three-and-a-half years without any progress in the investigation of the case, at the end of December 2018 the United States had international bankers, an intermediary, and former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang detained, triggering further detentions in Mozambique, among them the personal secretary and the son of former president Armando Guebuza, both in pre-trial detention for about a month.
Several analysts have argued that the evidence could allow Mozambique to free itself of obligations for more than half of all debts.
“We acknowledge that the debt issue is of concern to Mozambicans. However, this issue should not divert us from our focus: peace and the implementation of the government’s five-year plan for the continuous improvement of Mozambican life,” the prime minister said.Source: Lusa