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Mozambique Attorney General demands reversal of ‘corrupt’ cabotage MoUs

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Mozambique’s Attorney General (Procuradoria-Geral da República, PGR) has demanded the annulment of Memoranda of Understanding signed in July 2016 between Carlos Mesquita’s Ministry of Transport and the ports of Quelimane and Beira, due to an alleged conflict of interest.

The MoUs, which were intended to reduce the prices ports were charging for cabotage service providers by between 40% and 60%, were signed between Mesquita and Cornelder Moçambique, the company which runs the two ports, and which was at the time headed up by Mesquita’s brother, Adelino.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport told Zitamar News that the agreements in question do not relate to Cornelder’s concessions to run the ports, as erroneously reported by state-owned daily newspaper Noticias on Tuesday.

Carlos Mesquita – who was himself in charge of Cornelder before he handed over to his brother on becoming a minister – is facing similar controversy over a 20 million metical ($333,000) contract won by another of his companies, Transportes Carlos Mesquita, to provide road transport for the government’s disaster management unit, the INGC (Instituto Nacional de Gestão de Calamidade).

Both cases were examined by parliament’s Central Commission on Public Ethics, which concluded that Mesquita broke the law by signing the cabotage memoranda – directing the case to the Central Office of Corruption (GCCC).

Zitamar was unable to reach the GCCC to ask whether the second case, regarding transport for the INGC, has been referred to the GCCC or from there to the PGR.

© 2017, Zitamar Ltd. Reproduction and dissemination prohibited without written permission.

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