Mozambique’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Max Tonela, has sacked the General Manager of the Export Promotion Institute (IPEX), Celia Candrino, and sent a dossier on IPEX to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, according to a report in Friday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”.
Candrino has been accused of abusing IPEX funds, particularly the money intended for the annual Maputo International Trade Fair (FACIM).
According to the sources contacted by “Mediafax”, Tonela took his decision after receiving the report from a commission set up to investigate complaints raised by IPEX workers. The investigators concluded that Candrino had misused the funds of the institution and had violated the legal principles governing the use of public money.
The Minister sent the Commission’s report to the Public Prosecutor, so that criminal proceedings can be initiated if Prosecutors believe there is sufficient evidence to charge Candrino.
Tonela appointed the Chairperson of the IPEX Board, Joao Macaringue, to take over from Candrino. For the time being, he will be both chairpersom and general manager of IPEX.
The Administrative Tribunal, the body that checks the legality of state activities, has also strongly criticized IPEX. The Tribunal’s report on the General State Account (CGE) covering 2014 attacked the way in which IPEX had handled FACIM. IPEX had paid over 22.2 million meticais (about 463,000 US dollars, at current exchange rates) to a private company, Santos & Rey Estruturas e Eventos, for services to FACIM without any proper contract, but merely on the basis of a memorandum of understanding.
The Tribunal deplored this procedure, noting that the IPEX management had not stated how Santos & Rey was selected and had not presented any reports on its activity.
When Candrino came under attack from IPEX staff last year, she denied all the accusations claiming they were just “manoeuvres of ambitious people who want power at any cost”.
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