MAPUTO, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi says the government is committed to re-establishing confidence among its bilateral and multilateral lenders which was lost when the true extent of the country’s foreign debt came to light in April 2016.

The government under former president Armando Guebuza had in 2013 and 2014 signed illegal guarantees for more than two billion US dollars worth of loans contracted from the banks Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia by three companies — Ematum (Mozambique Tuna Company), Proindicus and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management).

The Proindicus and MAM loans were kept secret from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Mozambique’s other partners, not to mention the Mozambican public, and the Ematum loan only came to light because it took the form of a bond issue on the European market.

The hidden debts led the IMF to suspend its programme with Mozambique, and all 14 donor countries which used to provide direct support to the Mozambican State budget suspended further disbursement. That aid remains suspended to this day.

Nyusi said the investigations into what happened to the two billion USD are in the hands of the Attorney-General’s Office (PGR), which ordered an independent audit of the three companies by the company Kroll Associates. The audit found that much of the money could not be accounted for.

Respecting the principle of the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, the government is continuing to accompany the findings and recommendations of the PGR, said Nyusi. We are continuing to collaborate, when asked.”

He also made it clear that the government wants to see those responsible for the illegal debts held responsible for their actions.