MAPUTO, There is still no sign of any new programme between Mozambique and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the IMF representative in Mozambique, Ari Aisen, has made clear that a basic condition for any advance is filling in the gaps in the audit report on the three companies — Ematum (Mozambique Tuna Company), Proindicus and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management) — which contracted loans totalling more than two billion US dollars with European banks in 2013 and 2014, which were illegally guaranteed by the government of the time, headed by former president Armando Guebuza.

The Proindicus and MAM loans were kept completely secret until April 2016. When they became public knowledge, the IMF accused the Mozambican government of concealing the true extent of its foreign debt. The IMF suspended its programme, and other development partners followed suit. The 14 donors which used to provide direct support to the Mozambican State budget all interrupted their disbursements.

A key requirement for restoring normal relations with the IMF was an independent audit of Ematum, Proindicus and MAM. The Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) hired Kroll Associates, reputedly the top forensic auditing company in the world, but the Kroll audit report is incomplete, because the three companies refused full co-operation.

The executive summary of the Kroll report, released by the PGR in late June, said the companies only provided limited financial data, including incomplete trial balances and bank statements for certain periods, and incomplete supporting documentation, such as loan facility agreements and supplier contracts”.

“As a result, it became apparent that a significant amount of the information originally envisaged to be held by the Mozambique companies in Mozambique was not available, the report added.

Mozambican banks also failed to cooperate and as a result, Kroll cannot rely on the completeness of this information for the purposes of this report.

The lack of co-operation was quite deliberate. The agent of the security and intelligence service, SISE, Antonio do Rosario, who is the chairperson of all three companies, openly boasted that he had thrown the Kroll auditors out of his office.

Aisen said a condition for any new programme with the IMF is filling the gaps in the Kroll report. “The government has expressed its desire to have a programme with the IMF, and for our part we also want to support Mozambique. The question of the audit has been posed as an important element in this regard, he added.