Mozambique: Nanduli, the abandoned village - Watch
in file CoM
The Sofala Provincial Court, sitting in the central Mozambican city of Beira, last week sentenced a senior military officer to 12 years imprisonment for illegal logging, attempted bribery, and possession of illegal weapons, according to a report in Wednesday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Carta de Mocambique”.
The officer is Lt-Col Artur Vasco Jambo, whose workers were caught, on 21 November 2018, in Gorongosa district in possession of 20 logs of the protected tree species mondzo (leadwood: with the scientific name combretum imberbe).
Wardens of the Gorongosa National Park found four men inside an illegal timber workyard set up within the forestry concession of the company Edson, Dylaka and Neurice (EDN Ltd). In addition to the logs, they also had a chainsaw used to cut down the trees.
The wardens demanded that the four men show their licence for logging, but they could not present one. They then tried to bribe the wardens with 500 meticais (about eight US dollars). The wardens refused the bribe, detained the four men, and took them to the Forestry Inspection Post.
They then revealed they were working for Lt-Col Jambo, and asked to ring him up. During this phone call, the wardens asked Jambo to come to the inspection post and bring with him his licence and any other documentation showing that his activities were legal. Jambo replied that he would meet the wardens to give them money, and then hung up.
When he arrived at the inspection post, he was drunk, and offered the wardens a bribe of 12,000 meticais. Like the smaller bribe, this too was rejected. He then threatened the wardens with a Makarov pistol, which turned out to be unregistered. Jambo then attempted to escape, but crashed his car into a tree, which made it easier for the wardens to detain him and take him to the police cells.
Jambo, who belongs to the Trovoada (Thunder) battalion of the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM), was released on 11 December 2018, on payment of bail of 395,000 meticais. He could not escape a trial, which began on 15 August and culminated in a 12 year prison sentence.
According to “Carta de Mocambique”, Jambo also owns the petrol station at Namapadza, in the Sofala district of Maringue, where Portuguese businessman Americo Sebastiao was kidnapped on 29 July 2016.
Sebastiao has not been seen since, and it is not known whether he is alive or dead – but more than 160,000 meticais were withdrawn from Sebastiao’s accounts. His disappearance has been discussed at the highest levels of the Mozambican and Portuguese authorities.
“Carta de Mocambique” suggests that a serious investigation into the disappearance could start by questioning Jambo, who is now a convicted criminal.