Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mozambique: Nyusi Considers Trip to London “Positive”
Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said in Maputo on Saturday that the world believes in the transition of Mozambique to an economy that will increasingly benefit its people, particularly the neediest strata of the population.

He was speaking at Maputo International Airport on his return from London, where he had attended the Commonwealth Summit, an event he regarded as positive

“We must not get distracted. Beating ourselves up does no good”, he said. “We are increasingly visible and awakening the interest of more countries. The world believes in the transition of Mozambique from a poor economy to one that benefits the neediest”.

He claimed that while in London he had “dissipated doubts” about what have come to be known as the country's “hidden debts”. This term refers to the loans of over two billion US dollars that three security-related companies, Ematum (Mozambique Tuna Company), Proindicus and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management) took from the banks Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia, in 2013 and 2014, with illicit guarantees from the government headed by Nyusi's predecessor, Armando Guebuza.

The companies are effectively bankrupt with no chance of repaying the debts, which, thanks to the illegal guarantees, now fall on the government's shoulders. Credit Suisse and VTB undertook no due diligence before making the loans, and did not ask whether the guarantees were legal.

In London, for the first time, Nyusi declared that the two banks bear some of the responsibility for the debt. There was “shared responsibility” between Mozambique and the banks.

Nyusi said he had also explained the current stage of the dialogue between the government and the rebel movement Renamo, and had spoken of freedom of expression in Mozambique. Concerns had been expressed because of the kidnap and torture of prominent journalist Ericino de Salema on 27 March.

“Our discussions were centred on a more just, prosperous, sustainable and safer future”, he said.

But he also claimed that the Commonwealth governments condemned the improper use of social media such as Facebook. “They stressed the importance of more responsible use of social networks”, he said. “We also debated actions to prevent terrorism and the trafficking in human beings, as well as the use of illicit firearms”.

Other issues discussed, he added, included the fight against cyber-crime, and the sustainability of Commonwealth countries in the face of climate change.

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