Mozambique: Renamo Calls for Extraordinary Sitting of Assembly

Maputo — The parliamentary group of Mozambique's main opposition party, Renamo, has called for an emergency sitting of the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.

At a Maputo press conference on Friday, the Renamo spokesperson, Jose Manteigas, said that the emergency session should discuss the allegations made in a New York court by Jean Boustani, a senior sales executive of the Abu Dhabi based group, Privinvest.

Facing charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and securities fraud, in connection with the scandal of Mozambique's "hidden debts", Boustani was asked to explain the payments made by Privinvest to various Mozambican officials and institutions.

According to the transcript of the court proceedings of 20 November, in 2014 Privinvest paid four million dollars to the ruling Frelimo Party and another two million to "NUY". Boustani confirmed that the latter was an alias Privinvest used for Filipe Nyusi, the Frelimo presidential candidate who won the 2014 election and is now President of the Republic.

Boustani said the four million "was a payment to Frelimo Party from Privinvest for the election campaign of upcoming President Filipe Nyusi. The separate payment of two million to "NUY", he added, was also for Nyusi's campaign.

Earlier in the trial, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), told the court they had deciphered most of the nicknames and aliases used by Privinvest, but were unsure about "Nuy", also referred to as "New Guy" or "New Man". The FBI had also only been able to track one million of the promised two.

Because of the seriousness of these claims, said Manteigas, "we consider it urgent that the government should come to the Assembly, since the good name of the country is at stake as is the credibility of the President of the Republic, whose name is mentioned in these statements".

Manteigas said an extraordinary sitting of the Assembly was also required to discuss the situation in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, where an islamist insurgency has been under way since October 2017.

"For more than two years there have been armed attacks against the public and against private and public institutions, carried out by groups that have not yet been identified by the defence and security forces", said Manteigas.

In light of the death and destruction caused by the insurgents, Manteigas thought it imperative that the government explain the situation to the public and what solutions it had in mind.

Given the Frelimo majority in the Assembly, and on its governing board, the Permanent Commission, it is most unlikely that the Renamo request will be successful.

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