Tuna Bonds: Mozambicans need to know the culprits


Former chairman of the board and president of BIM Banco Internacional de Moçambique, Mario Machungo, thinks that the Kroll audit of the debts granted to ProIndicus, Ematum and Mozambique Asset Management (MAM) shouldn’t be kept in secrecy.

While Mario Machungo does not deny that Mozambique’s sovereignty must be respected, he insists on the necessity for legal institutions to “meet their obligations” before conceiving a resolution mechanism that does not put too much strain on the budget but also on the Mozambican people.

Speaking to the Estoril Conference, last Tuesday in Portugal, the Planning Minister between 1984 and 1986 added that the Attorney General shall identify without any interference those responsible for the illegally granted loans, with the approval of the Government.

“It is desirable that the audit report gets disclosed, it cannot remain a secret”, said Mario Machungo, quoted by the Portuguese newspaper O Observador. “The report is in the hands of the judicial authorities, which must determine who is responsible, if there is any guilty party and resolve the case.” To him, only the Attorney General has the power to find and disclose such information.

As a reminder, the Manhattan-based corporate investigations and risk consulting firm Kroll delivered in May the long-awaited report on the hidden debts to the Attorney General. A summary of its findings should in principle be published in the coming weeks.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have both stressed on several occasions that the completion of the report and its public divulgation are non-negotiable conditions that would allow the resumption of financial assistance to Mozambique, whose economy has been deeply affected by the “Tuna Bond” scandal.

Mario Machungo remains relatively optimistic, though, regarding the economy, observing several signals of trend reversal, while expecting international donors and lenders to resume their support in the country. “Although recovering at a moderate pace, Mozambique has promising medium term perspectives, thanks to gas and other raw materials such as coal”, thinks the one who was Prime minister at the end of the 1980s.

The World Bank, for instance, has already resumed some funding of “many projects”, in particular in the social area, though assistance to the budget is still pending. According to Mario Machungo, such support is a clear signal that Mozambique’s international and institutional partners believe in the capacity of the country to resolve its problems.

Source: O Observador

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