Mozambique civil society calls for debt disclosure

GMT 00:13 2016 Sunday ,24 April

Arab Today, arab today Mozambique civil society calls for debt disclosure

Hidden debts
Maputo - XINHUA

 Mozambique's civil society organizations have demanded the government publish all information about the country's public debt amid worries over the alarming public debt to GDP ratio of 73.4 percent after revelation of over 1 billion U.S dollars hidden debts last week.

The Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO), a coalition that contains some of Mozambique's most credible civil society organizations, asked for an exhaustive audit of the Mozambican public debt "in order to know the real amounts involved, the creditors and the payment period for each of the debts."

It urged in a statement the government to explain publicly its strategy for paying the debt "and announce measures to hold responsible the authors of the present crisis."

The statement comes after the Mozambican government admitted the existence of public debts of over 1 billion U.S. dollars to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, by the country's Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, who flew to Washington on Tuesday, in the wake of the IMF cancelling a mission to Maputo originally planned for this week.

The IMF announced last week at a Washington press conference that the IMF had received confirmation from the authorities of the existence of a large amount of borrowing that had not previously been disclosed to the IMF.

The institution also suspended the second loan installment worth 283 million U.S. dollars to Mozambique from the Fund's Standby Credit Facility, immediately after the cancellation of the mission's visit to Mozambique.

According to Mozambican Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane, the banks Credit Suisse and VTB of Russia, lent 622 million U.S. dollars to the state company Pro-Indicus for the purchase of ships and radar systems for maritime defence.

A second loan handled by the same banks for 500 million U.S. dollars remains unclear: it is said to be connected to the Pemba Logistical Base, under construction in northern Mozambique to service the requirements of the nascent oil and gas industry, said in a report from the country's state news agency AIM.

The statement from FMO indicated that Mozambique's public debt reached 73.4 percent of GDP, instead of the 49 percent calculated prior to the latest revelations.

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