Breaking News! Construction of the Moamba Major Dam riddled with illegalities and cronyism

Moamba Maior dam

According to the Administrative Tribunal (TA), the construction of the Moamba Major Dam, financed by the Brazilian National Economic Development Bank (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Económico do Brasil, BNDES), is flawed by illegalities.

The dam, which is being built on the Incomáti River, will guarantee the full supply of water to the cities of Maputo, Matola and Boane, and will contribute to flood control and the production of electricity. The total cost of the project is US$466-million, of which US$320-million is a loan from the BNDES.

The TA says the contract was given to Grupo Andrade Gutierrez without a tender

process and without the required review of the contract by the TA.

In addition, according to the Report on the General State Account (CGE) of 2015, “The contract signed by the Regional Administration of Águas do Sul, through the National Water Directorate, was executed without the mandatory permit of the TA, to the amount of US$466,351,279 for the construction of the Moamba Major Dam and related works”.

The TA, which supervises the executive’s accounts, points to another violation of the law in that: “in contracting, the modality of direct adjustment was applied without due justification, disregarding the provisions of Article 113 of the Regulation of Contract of Works Public Procurement, Supply of Goods and Provision of Services to the State, approved by Decree No. 15/2010, of 24 May, which determines the circumstances in which this modality can be applied”.

“It should be noted that the general scheme for the contracting of public works is the public tender, in accordance with the terms of Article 7 of the same regulation”, adds the report.

In addition, the construction process has also been prone to cronyism. The works are being carried out by a consortium of companies headed by the Andrade Gutierrez Group, which actively participated in financing with the commitment of the government of Mozambique, which was headed at the time by Armando Guebuza.

A report by the Brazilian magazine Época, citing correspondence from the Brazilian Embassy in Mozambique, indicates that in 2013, the Mozambican government declared that the Moamba Major Dam would only be awarded to the Andrade Gutierrez Group if financing from the Brazilian bank was also made available with flexible bank guarantees.

“There were indications that Brazil would lose the project to companies from other countries if the issue of BNDES financing could not be solved”, reads a message from a correspondent in Maputo.

The financing of US$320-million by BNDES for the construction of the dam is being investigated in Brazil under the largest anti-corruption operation, ‘Lava Jacto’.

In addition, a former official of the Andrade Gutierrez Group in Mozambique told police authorities in Brazil that favoritism was shown towards the Brazilian construction company on the condition that the deal also benefit a Mozambican contractor which comprised of important members of the Frelimo Party.

“When asked about Andrade Gutierrez’s illicit transactions in that country, he replied that, through Mr. Bengal (a kind of lobbyist), the company had obtained a contract, having as a condition the subcontracting of Infra Contractor (owned by a general)”, Federal Police said, according to the Brazilian newspaper Estadão

The Brazilian accuser referred to the company Infra Engineering Mozambique, which belongs to three senior Frelimo figures: former tourism minister Fernando Sumbana Júnior, former defence minister Tobias Dai (brother-in-law of Armando Guebuza) and Raimundo Pachinuapa.

Source: @Verdade

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