Mozambique: IMF program “will hurt a little”
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday in Maputo demanded that the new Minister for Veterans’ Affair, Jossefina Mpelo, unmask “ghost veterans” and the fraudulent networks that have enabled them to thrive.
Nyusi outlined the challenge shortly after swearing Mpelo into office. She is the first woman to hold the job, and the first person who did not fight in the war for Mozambican independence. Her previous position was head of the finance and administration department in the Cabo Delgado branch of the National Institute for Aid to Refugees (INAR)
“You must ensure a definitive closure of the chronic problem of war veterans’ pensions”, Nyusi said. “Attribute cards to all of them and solve the lingering problems.”
He stressed the need for an effective payment system which ensures that the beneficiaries enjoy their rights timely and transparently. This drive, Nyusi added entails an accurate, permanent and computerised updating taking into account the areas where the veterans are living.
There are said to be nearly 100,000 veterans across the country – a figure which includes the fighters in the national liberation struggle, and the soldiers who fought in the subsequent wars of destabilisation.
Nyusi urged Mpelo to pay attention to the veterans displaced by terror attacks in Cabo Delgado, and those who have been displaced by natural disasters, to ensure that soon they benefit from their pensions.
“We have paid attention to the work you have been doing, and we are pretty sure you will definitely shake up the sector. You are tasked with the responsibility to implement a communication strategy with other institutions in Cabo Delgado, so as to identify and find those who have been displaced,” Nyusi declared.
After the war veterans had been found, Nyusi said that they will receive the necessary support, especially those who have joined the local militias fighting terrorism in Cabo Delgado. They will also receive any overdue payments, and will be issued with identity cards in the framework of Cabo Delgado Reconstruction Programme.
Nyusi wanted the new minister to root out “ghosts” – people receiving payment as veterans but who never fought in any war. He did not say how many such “ghosts” might exist.
Among the challenges ahead, Nyusi tasked Mpelo with the responsibility to boost the Fund for Peace and National Reconstruction, ensuring sustainability and maximum transparency in its management, in a bid to ensure productive social reintegration of the war veterans.