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Vol 62 No 3

Published 4th February 2021


Mozambique

More woe for President Nyusi as shipbuilder Safa drags him into $2 billion secret loan scandal

Two Presidents have been named in legal fight pitting Maputo against Privinvest and Credit Suisse

Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili's civil case in London against Credit Suisse and Abu-Dhabi shipbuilder Privinvest over the $2 billion secret loans saga – asserting the arrangements were illegal and Mozambique should not repay them – is triggering unintended consequences.

First, Credit Suisse named former President Armando Guebuza and seven other top Maputo officials as involved in the deals. Now, Iskandar Safa, founder of Privinvest, says in papers filed with the court that he paid money to incumbent President Filipe Nyusi as political contributions or 'investments', reports Bloomberg news (AC Vol 61 No 18, Credit Suisse names Guebuza). 

Safa denies the transfers were bribes or in any way criminal but his statement will do immense harm to Nyusi who has been trying, with little success, to put all the blame for the loans scandal onto Guebuza. Unpopular but enormously rich and a shrewd tactician, Guebuza could create yet more problems for Nyusi whose standing in the ruling party Frelimo is weakening fast.

Nyusi's mishandling of the secret loans saga has eroded his reputation as much as the military's failure to reign in the insurgency in Cabo Delgado, his home province.

In the court papers, Safa says that Nyusi was 'at the very centre' of the loans saga. He also admits to paying $7 million to Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang, who is currently on remand in South Africa, pending a decision by the authorities there to send him to the United States for trial or back to Maputo (AC Vol 62 No 1, Nyusi running out of road).



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