President Armando Guebuza's term of office is heading towards its end, specifically in one year from now. In recent months, an intense campaign of deification to his legacy has been taking place at various levels under the pretext of the "balance of President Armando Emilio Guebuza's governance" during the period of his enthronement in 2005 up until this year.
On television channels, both public and private, as well as in print media, the stress falls on the exaltation of the achievements that President Guebuza will have achieved by the end of his term. In these same analyses, there are no errors mentioned. Furthermore, even a banner recently show during a public event regarded Guebuza as "the undisputed guide to all of us".
In this article we try to bring to light the problems President Guebuza inherited and has created, which will pass on to his successor who, thus far, remains unknown. Guebuza, once out of power, will take with him a wide array of public criticism that he has both sent to and received from possible and imaginary critics.
Fighting corruption with long-sighted lenses...
When President Armando Guebuza was sworn in as the successor to Joaquim Chissano in January 2005 at Independence Square, he brought a series of promises, including a vigorous fight against corruption, against the "let it go spirit" adopted by Chissano, against undue bureaucracy, among others.
In the early days of his chancellorship, Guebuza said that "this is not time to walk, but time to run". With the approval of the Anti-Corruption Package in 2004, the Frelimo administration finally sought to give concrete examples on how to combat corruption, which day by day was increasingly becoming a trademark of Frelimo's political formation. Mozambique's ratification of international and regional conventions against corruption and experience in the application and regulation of Law No. 6/2004 on June 17 showed that it was necessary to review this law and also judgement No. 22/2005 from June 22, which ordered it.
And so it was done. In 2008 the first "good news" of the promises from Armando Guebuza was made in regard to combating corruption: Almerino Manheje, the super-Minister (he held the roles of Minister of the Interior and of the Presidency) in the government of Joaquim Chissano, was arrested for alleged misappropriation of funds at the Ministry of the Interior.
José Pacheco, the current Minister of Agriculture and then-supervisor of the portfolio that had been under the control of Manheje, ordered the audit of accounts at that ministry, which would have shown a monumental deficit of about 220 million meticais.
Pacheco ordered the completion of the audit as soon as he assumed the minister position. The audit was carried out under the scope of the "time to run and not to walk" campaign and its result was delivered to the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR). It stayed there with no means to continue forward until the ambassadors of Sweden and Switzerland informed the Mozambican government that they would decrease their aid budget for the country in protest against the fact that Guebuza's government was not taking actions in its paramount campaign against corruption.
The truth of the matter is that Manheje ended up in jail, accused of 49 offenses of which 48 he was convicted. Eventually, at the trial of the first "big fish" the Guebuza administration, Manheje answered for only 500 thousand meticais and not 220 million that would have been reported by Minister Pacheco's audit.
Shortly after this case in which Guebuza prided himself on being a leader in the fight against corruption, another situation developed in his own administration. Antonio Munguambe, who ran the Ministry of Transport and Communications, was accused in the well-known case of "Airports of Mozambique" to have unduly benefited from the company, between 2005 and 2008, by unlawfully having received a car, $33,000 and by diverting funds and property of the State. Ant=F3nio Munguambe was put in jail and, later, his sentence was reduced from 20 years to four years in prison in a case of misappropriation of public goods.
In 2011, the weekly newspaper Canal de Mocambique printed a piece on its front page causing many to cry out to the heavens. The piece referred to a company, in which the citizen Armando Guebuza is a shareholder, which had sold about 150 gas-powered buses to the State. The same buses had been acquired in India, through the Transport and Communications Development Fund (FDTC), and sold on credit to the Maputo Public Transport company (TPM) as a way to improve the lack of transportation in Maputo city and Maputo province.
These buses, by the make of TATA, were purchased from the TATA Group of India by the national company TATA Mozambique Limited. TATA Mozambique Limited has as one of its partners the citizen Armando Emílio Guebuza, who is also the President of the Republic and head of the Mozambican government.
These buses cost the Mozambican State 565 million meticais and were acquired without public tender as is required by the law of procurement. Paulo Zucula, the (recently exonerated) Minister of Transport and Communications, reported to Canal de Mocambique: "We were just looking for manufacturers of gas buses."
The citizen Armando Emílio Guebuza is a partner of TATA Mozambique Limited, alongside TATA Limited Holding and INVESTMENT MBATINE, LDA, as cited from the Bulletin of the Republic, number 17, series III of April 24, 2002. Here we presented a short illustration that in this struggle, the President was to fighting corruption with long-sighted lenses.
Other bodies of authority from the Guebuza administration, such as the Constitutional Council and the Administrative Court, got word through the press of the "festivals" of public money, sooner than hearing the silence of "the undisputed guide of all of us"! The President of the Human Rights League, Alice Mabota, has already dubbed President Guebuza as Mr. 5%!
Inheritances for his successor
Every "holy Wednesday", a group of citizens known as "madgermanes" march claiming for the values deducted from their wages between the late 1970s and the early 1980s when they moved to the "defunct" German Democratic Republic (GDR) in eastern Europe. They are a prime example of the exercising of citizenship rights created in the Constitution: the right to protest.
The President of the Republic, Armando Guebuza, seems to have had no dexterity required to assess this issue, which affects his countrymen. He may have forgotten...
The demobilized soldiers of the civil war between the Government of Mozambique and Renamo are also on the list of inheritance that Armando Guebuza will leave to his successor. To vary the dialogue in this field, the Mozambican State used psychological and physical violence against this group of nationals and sometimes in front of the television cameras.
The leader of this forum, Hermanio dos Santos, was detained and psychologically tortured into not continuing to fight for his rights and the rights of his peers. Doctors, teachers and other groups in society deserved some attention when the matter surpassed the boundaries of dialogue. But at the end of the day, things remain the same.
Messages to the critics
One, and perhaps the only, characteristic that the President leaves as a legacy are the numerous messages sent to the critics of his governance. In the national political lexicon, expressions like: "chatterbox", "apostles of doom", "we will continue irritating them", "marginal", "enemies of development", "professional agitators" and others were introduced by the nation's highest magistrate. The President made these and other statements in public and with quite a natural demeanour.
With the appointment of Edson Macuacua as the party's political advisor, it was hoped that this cycle of statements would end. Those who thought so were wrong. In early September 2013, during his "Open and Inclusive Presidency" visit in Maputo city, Guebuza said at full volume that the "city of Maputo is at the centre of movements critical of the government".
Business: another legacy...
The Guebuza family's business revenue increased with his arrival to power. With a total of 27,160 hectares of land registered in the mining registry, the family, through the Intelec Holdings and TATA Mozambique holds seven licenses for mineral prospecting and research. All licenses have in common the fact that they have been assigned by the National Mines Directorate (DNA), from the time when Armando Guebuza ascended to the post of President= .
The Intelec Holdings, established by record on November 14, 1998, having changed its name on April 10, 2003, is the mother company of a group of Mozambican companies, with strong participation of domestic private capital, and a revenue of 644 million meticais (2008 data). Intelec Holdings consistently appears in the ranking of the 100 largest companies of Mozambique.
Intelec Holdings assumed the role as shareholdings manager in 2003 and had in its corporate base the following participating companies: the Aberdare Intelec, Electrotec, SINERGISA, Sarl, ENMO and Intelec Lites, in two areas of business, designated Energy (generation, industry and electrical constructions) and Advertising. This is in addition to their progression towards 15 business stakes and 8 business areas in 2008, notably Energy, Advertising, Hospitality and Tourism, Telecommunications, Mining, Cement, Consulting and Finance.
The INTELEC Holding' main business area is the energy sector and holds a strategic position for the development of the country. The company has the second highest revenue among the 100 largest companies nationwide.
By controlling Intelec Holdings, the Guebuza family has 6 licenses in the mining area under its umbrella. The Chairman of the Board of Directors (PCA) for this holding is Celso Correia. TATA Holdings, a parent company of TATA Mozambique in which Armando Guebuza is a shareholder, holds only one license.
According to the mining registry database published by the Center for Public Integrity (CIP), two licenses held by president Guebuza are located in Cheringoma. These licenses were allocated in 2007. One expires in July and the other in August of this year, in sections corresponding to 1,020 and 1,840 hectares, respectively.
Guebuza also has two licences in Inhassoro in Inhambane province. Both were allocated in 2007 and expire in July and August, and constitute 9,800 and 1,480 acres respectively. He has another license in Magude, also attributed in 2007, which has an area of 2,880 hectares and which expired in July of this year.
The last license of Intelec Holdings was attributed in 2010, in Magoe, Zumbo, in Tete province. It constitutes an area of 9,520 hectares and expires in January 2016.
The only one public license is owned by TATA Holdings and is in operation in the district of Mutarara in Tete province. This license was awarded in 2004, holds an area of 20,460 hectares and expires this year.
The representative of the TATA Africa Holdings is Raman Dhawan, of Indian origin, but this company, with participation in 11 countries, also has interests in the extractive industry sector in Mozambique.
Translated by Francisco Chuquela. Proofread by Lauren Fox.