9 March 2018

Mauritius President to Resign Amid Credit Card Expenditure Scandal

Photo: Voice Of America
President of Mauritius Ameenah Firdaus Gurib.

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is Africa's only female head of state. She is accused of using a credit card provided by an international non governmental organization to buy clothes and jewelry.

Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim will step down next week over a financial row, the prime minister said on Friday.

Gurib-Fakim, Africa's only female head of state, was accused of using a credit card provided by an international NGO to make personal purchases.

"The President of the Republic told me that she would resign from office and we agreed on the date of her departure," Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth told reporters in Port Louis, capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.

Jugnauth said Gurib-Fakim would resign after the celebration of the country's 50th anniversary of independence on March 12.

A chemistry professor, Gurib-Fakim took the largely ceremonial post in 2015 as the island nation's first female president.

Gurib-Fakim has denied any wrongdoing and said she had refunded all the money in question.

"I do not owe anything to anybody. Why is this issue coming up now almost a year later on the eve of our independence day celebrations," she said in a March 7 speech.

The local L'express newspaper reported that the president had shopped in Italy and Dubai, using a credit card provided by London-based Planet Earth Institute.

The NGO, which supports education by offering scholarships, is funded by the controversial Angolan billionaire Alvaro Sobrinho who is himself being investigated for fraud.

ap/aw (Reuters, AFP)

Mauritius

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