In mid-February, Ndambi Guebuza, the son of a former president of Mozambique, was arrested for alleged links to a $2 billion government debt scandal. It followed the arrest in January in New York of Jean Boustani, a Lebanese national. Also arrested that same month in London were three Credit Suisse bankers, Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh and Detelina Subeva, of New Zealand, British and Bulgarian nationality respectively. In late December, Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang was arrested in South Africa.
The government has announced that it is to start paying off the money it owes for goods and services provided by the Mozambican private sector over more than 10 years.
The fee for issuing or renewing a biometric driving license in Mozambique will be increased by 500%. Other services provided by INATTER will also be subject to exorbitant increases this week, such as the issuing of a vehicle registration certificates [‘livrete’], which will go up to 1,850 meticais, and driving tests, which will be taxed at 2,185 meticais.
The government had not reviewed its grants to the poorest since 2015. Last year (2017) it reduced the Basic Social Allowance to zero, although it spent millions on luxury cars. Now, it has finally increased the subsidies of Social Assistance Programmes. The elderly and disabled will receive only 230 to 390 meticais more.
Ana Coanai, president of the Administration Council (PCA) of the State Participation Management Institute (IGEPE), said on Monday that 20 of the 107 public and state-partnered companies in Mozambique are in financial crisis. Investigation of six of these companies by A Verdade reveal current liabilities of more than 77.8 billion meticais, with 27.2 billion in short-term debt to national banks and total liabilities of 156.9 billion meticais.
The unanimity of Renamo’s National Commission in the election of Ossufo Momade to temporarily lead the largest opposition party in Mozambique seems to indicate that this veteran soldier and politician, a Muslim hailing from the largest constituency in Mozambique, could be the successor to Afonso Dhlakama, whose confidence he had.
The 867 elephant tusks seized in a container at the port of Maputo on 13 April came from Mozambican elephants, according to the Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia, interviewed in the independent online paper “A Verdade”.
One of the reasons for the failure of agribusiness in Mozambique is because the state, instead of subsidising the majority of the people who are agricultural producers, has chosen to subsidise the minority living in urban areas.
Less than three months after its last review, the Bank of Mozambique has again changed foreign exchange regulations to introduce complementary norms to the movement of accounts in foreign currency with a particular incidence on the specific account of export revenue.
The Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, clarified on Monday (12) to A Verdade that the government had not reached any agreement with Russia’s Vnesh Torg Bank (VTB) regarding debts of more than 1 billion US dollars illegally contracted by Proinducus, EMATUM and MAM.