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Mozambique charges former Justice Minister over ‘corrupt’ Mecca pilgrimage


A former Minister of Justice has been indicted by Mozambique’s Central Office for Combating Corruption (GCCC) for having used 1.8 million meticais (around $25,000) of state money to pay for himself and three friends to take a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Abdurremane Lino de Almeida, who was appointed Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs in President Filipe Nyusi’s first cabinet in January 2015, is accused by the GCCC of having abused his position and having made undue payments to persons unconnected to the state.

Lino de Almeida was dismissed from government in March 2016, with no reason given at the time – two months after the payments were reported by Mozambican newspaper Zambeze.

Newspaper Notícias on Monday quoted a source from the Judicial Court of the KaMpfumu District in Maputo City, where the lawsuit is going to be tried, saying the illegal payments are worth more than 1,780,000 meticais.

The sum paid for Lino de Almeida and three friends to travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and spend 21 days at the expense of the public purse, Noticias wrote.

In its report in January 2016, Zambeze named the other three travellers as Amisse Baquile from Cabo Delgado, Adelino Pinar from Nampula and Ibraimo Selemane from Nampula.

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