The budget of Ex-President Armando Guebuza violated the Constitution and laws of Mozambique

The Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry (Comissão Parlamentar do Inquérito, CPI) investigating the debt situation and the controversial guarantees granted by the State for Ematum, Proindicus and Mozambique Asset Management (MAM) financing, has concluded that the budget of Armando Guebuza violated the Constitution and laws of Mozambique.

The CPI’s final report, delivered on Wednesday to the National Assembly and debated on Friday 9 December in a plenary session, reinforces what was already in the public domain: that the debts of the three companies, amounting to 10.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), are illegal, but leaves doubts about any criminal responsibility.

“The Commission considers that the provision of State guarantees, in excess and without authorisation, constitutes a violation of the Constitution and of the budgetary laws, which, in accordance with the regime established in law No. 7/98, of 15 June, prescribe the standards of conduct applicable to the holders of the offices of government and explains their duties and implied responsibilities”, the report concludes.

The report notes that, of the several personalities heard during the investigation, only former president Guebuza; his finance minister, Manuel Chang; and the president of the board of directors of the beneficiaries of the controversial debts, Antonio Carlos do Rosário (not to be confused with current Prime Minister of similar name), had full knowledge of the financing.

The rest, including the former governor of the Banco de Moçambique, Ernesto Gove, and the former director of the Treasury –  who signed the guarantees on behalf of the State – “demonstrated a lack of in-depth knowledge of the outlines of the loans and, therefore, gave answers which could help the Commission to obtain information capable of clarifying the public debt on the three companies”, the report says.

Despite the violation, accountability may never happen, since – according to the report – the legislation is unclear about the accountability of senior state officials.

The CPI therefore recommends the legislation be improved “on the identification of the responsibilities of top state leaders who are currently enshrined in very vague and indeterminate legal instruments”.

The Commission nevertheless recommends that the Attorney-General establishes, within the framework of the forensic audit in progress, “effective application of financing contracted” by the three companies, as well as “whether or not evidence of an illegitimate and unlawful exploitation of public funds” by some people or institutions exists, all of which implies doubts on the part of Commission members on the application of the money.

Central to their recommendations, the CPI makes it clear that the State must take the responsibility for paying the controversial debt, which “should be paid by the three companies” without the burden falling on the public purse.

Source: O País

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