The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been keeping busy under its crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. He has virtually become one of the most powerful ... leaders of the Arab world, especially in the fight for influence in East Africa against its former foe Qatar. Is it any wonder that Riyadh is now making a foray into the arts to also highlight a more tolerant and open country?
It was thought that the legal proceedings would simply be a show trial with minor political figures being scapegoats, but the ruling Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo) party has lost control of the situation.
As a result, numerous defendants continue to testify on President Filipe Nyusi’s prominent role in the 2013-14 scandal. Defence Minister at the time, many are claiming he was a key mover, and there are documents in evidence proving his involvement in the planning and approval of the faux projects, although he had previously claimed little to no knowledge of the situation.
“The trial is set to continue until at least December, with key defendants due to give evidence in early October and ex-President Guebuza himself on 2 December,” reports Africa Confidential.
Effect on Nyusi
- Defendants Cipriano Mutota, a former intelligence officer, and consultant Teoflo Nhangumele, a former employee of the British High Commission in Maputo, told the court repeatedly that Nyusi had a prominent role in the deals.
- Nyusi is, however, rarely mentioned by name in court; he is referred to instead as ‘the former minister of defence’.
- This, however, cannot change the fact that Nyusi’s reputation has been badly damaged.
What to expect next
- Antonio Carlos do Rosario, former senior intelligence officer and boss of three companies in the scheme is expected to take the stand on 30 September.
- It is believed that he will echo previous claims that one company, Privinvest, paid Nyusi $2m personally, then provided extra funding to his Frelimo party to support his 2014 presidential bid. However, Nyusi denies any wrongdoing.
Although innocent until proven guilty, President Nyusi’s reputation has been severely damaged by the claims against him by other prominent political actors, in front of the very people that voted him in.
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