6 August 2017

Mozambique: Former Mayor Charged With Corruption

Photo: Joe Gratz/Flickr
(File photo).

Maputo — The Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC) has charged Alberto Chicuamba, former Mayor of Manhiça municipality, about 80 kilometres north of Maputo, for crimes of corruption, payment of undue remuneration, economic participation in business and abuse of office and function.

He is one of the two mayors who refused to resign in 2013, when asked to do so by the ruling Frelimo Party, which had no way to force them out.

Frelimo was unhappy with his performance and that's the main reason he didn't stand for his own succession.

The other one was Jorge Macuácua, then mayor for the municipality of Chókwè.

Chicuamba has as co-defendants the former councillor for administration and finance, Andrade Machava and a technician working for the Financial Department, Anselmo Muhate, reports the daily paper "Noticias".

The group is charged with the theft of more than 1.1 million meticais (about 18,000 US dollars at current exchange rate), none of which has been recovered.

The case was filed on the 5th last month and sent to the Manhiça District Judicial Court for trial.

According to the charges, often and under the guidance of Chicuamba the group would buy meals and alcoholic beverages with municipality funds in a restaurant owned by the former mayor, ignoring procurement procedures in force in the country.

Members of the Municipal Assembly and their guests, including people with no connections with the municipality, benefited from these actions.

The same happened with fuel which used to be granted to unknown individuals at the expense of the municipality.

The charges include payment of per diems to the accused and other officials on political-party missions.

In an unrelated case, the GCCC accused four civil servants who diverted more than 22 million meticais that were intended to pay a contractor who built a technical school in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

The accused are two officials from the Treasury and Maputo City Economy and Finance Directorate and two employees from the Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH).

According to the GCCC, the group is accused of crimes of embezzlement, both active and passive corruption, abuse of office or function.

Criminal proceedings were initiated on June 12, 2015 but only charged on the 16 last June, and now the case is awaiting trial in a Maputo City judicial court.

According to the GCCC, the defendants devised a plan to manipulate the electronic state financial management system (e-SISTAFE) and change the bank domicile of a private company to which MINEDH was to pay the sum of 22 million meticais for the construction of a technical school in Cabo Delgado.

However, instead of paying that company, the accused manipulated the system and transferred the amount to their bank account.

Of the total amount, the authorities managed to recover just over 15 million in a coordinated action with MINEDH, Treasury and Mozabanco. The money has been returned to the state coffers.

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