MOZAMBICAN GOVT SAYS IT WILL ONLY REPAY DEBTS WHICH ARE “IN THEPUBLIC INTEREST”

MAPUTO, The Mozambican government has declared that it will only honour debts if it is proved that the money “has been used for purposes that are in the public interest”.

Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario told the parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, here Thursday during the debate on the General State Account (CGE) covering the 2015 fiscal year, that servicing the country’s debts must not be at the expense of its development.

“We shall continue to observe a balance between the need to honour debt servicing and the imperative to continue financing priority action for economic and social development,” he said.

Some opposition deputies had protested that the mere mention in the CGE of the guarantees issued illicitly by the previous government led by former President Armando Guebuza for loans taken out by the security-related companies Proindicus and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management) from European banks somehow legalized those debts.

Rosario told the Assembly that the inclusion of information on the two guarantees in the CGE for 2015 “was necessary to guarantee control and monitoring of the guarantees by the Administrative Tribunal (the body which verifies the legality of public expenditure), in accordance with the law which set up the State Financial Administration System (Sistafe)”.

Control of the guarantees by the Tribunal, he stressed, “does not replace or hinder the independent audit that is currently under way”.

The government guarantees for the loans taken by Proindicus, MAM and a third company, Ematum (Mozambican Tuna Company) cover a total of more than two billion US dollars from European banks (mainly Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia). While the Ematum loan was public knowledge, since it took the form of a bond issue on the European market, the other two loans and their guarantees were kept secrect.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK