27 June 2014

Mozambique: LAM Denies That Frelimo Flies for Free

Maputo — Mozambique Airlines (LAM) on Thursday categorically denied a claim made by Luis Gouveia, a parliamentary deputy from the former rebel movement Renamo, that the ruling Frelimo Party owes vast sums of money to LAM, and this is the reason for the company's recent misfortunes.

Speaking in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, earlier in the day, Gouveia demanded “a profound audit” of LAM.

Without citing any evidence for his claims, he alleged that Frelimo has not paid its bills for travelling on LAM planes.

“The planes crash, and the planes are delayed, all because Frelimo owes a great deal of money to LAM”, he accused.

At a Maputo press conference, the LAM Chief Executive Office, Marleyn Manave, said there was no truth to the claim that Frelimo does not pay for flying on LAM planes.

Even the company's large scale clients do not have unpaid debts, she said. There had been occasions, she added, when the ruling party had asked LAM to arrange charter flights, and these debts too had been paid.

One major operation LAM had undertaken at Frelimo's request concerned the logistics for the Party's tenth congress, held in the northern city of Pemba in September 2012. Hundreds of delegates and other participants in the Congress had to be flown to Pemba from various parts of the country.

In this case, Manave said, Frelimo paid in advance for its use of LAM planes. Advance payment, she added, was common in the relation between the airline and its clients.

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