Renamo demands government explanation of debts

Maputo (AIM) – Mozambique’s main opposition party, the rebel movement Renamo, has again demanded explanations from the government about the country’s public debt, following the revelation that over 1.3 billion US dollars in government guaranteed loans had not been disclosed either to the Mozambican public or to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

debtAt a Maputo press conference on Wednesday, the head of the Renamo parliamentary group, Ivone Soares, announced that the Renamo parliamentarians have asked the government for studies which confirm claims that the public debt is sustainable.

Under the Freedom of Information Law passed in 2014, Renamo is also demanding detailed information on the bodies benefitting from government guaranteed loans, such as the companies EMATUM (Mozambique Tuna Company), and Pro-Indicus, a little known state company which the government now says is the national authority responsible for the protection of strategic infrastructures.

The Renamo request asks what interest rate will be paid on the loans, and the annual sums this represents. It also asks for information on the total foreign debt, and for a study on the impact of debt servicing on Mozambican citizens and companies.

Renamo’s request follows its failure, earlier this month, to call the government before the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, to answer questions on the debt.  The Renamo motion was defeated by the majority Frelimo Party – although a few days later it became clear that the Frelimo Central Committee did not agree with the Frelimo parliamentary group, and believed that the public is entitled to full information on the debt.

Soares told reporters that, in addition to writing to the government, the Renamo parliamentary group is making a second effort to put the matter urgently on the Assembly’s agenda. But the parliamentary sitting does not resume until mid-June, and even the Assembly’s governing body, its Standing Committee, is not scheduled to meet until 23 May.

“The Renamo parliamentary group”, Soares said, “is willing to use all legal means at its disposal to protect the interests of the Mozambican people”, and “we will continue working to obtain the necessary explanations about who decided to plunge Mozambique into debt? With whose authorization? What are the sums involved? Where was the money spent?”

She also urged the bodies of the administration of justice “to do their job without fear, since in Mozambique nobody is above the law”. They should not ignore, she continued, “the criminal responsibility of those who acted in awareness of the illicit nature of what they were doing, but even so chose not to conform with the established law”.

“There was conscious, voluntary and wrongful violation of the constitutional rules”, Soares claimed, “and consequently there was a violation of the principle of the rule of law and of the separation of powers”.

She suggested that the bank accounts of those responsible for the debts be frozen and that they be barred from leaving the country until all the details of the public debt have been explained.

Post published in: Africa News

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