Mozambican Court convicts son of former president,10 others for corruption  

A court in Mozambique has sentenced Armando Ndambi Guebuza, son of former President Armando Guebuza, and ten other top government officials to 12 and ten years in jail for their involvement in a shady loan deal. 

What is the loan deal about? 

Guebuza and the ten others were found guilty of charges relating to a $2 billion “hidden debt scandal” which saw the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars of a government-back loan. 

In 2013 and 2014, some state-owned companies illegally took a loan amounting to $2 billion from international banks, without the approval of the parliament, to buy a tuna-fishing fleet and surveillance vessels.

When details of the loan became public in 2016, it resulted in IMF and other international donors cutting off financial support for the South African Nation, triggering a sovereign debt default and currency collapse. 

An independent audit later found that about $500 million of the loan were diverted with the rest unaccounted for. 

What was Guebuza’s involvement in the loan? 

During the trial proceedings, the presiding judge, Efigenio Baptista said Ndambi Guebuza acted deliberately “to exert influence on his father” in getting the government to approve the purchase of the vessels, adding that he took a $33milion bribe from the deal which he used to satisfy his “desire for luxury”. 

The judge also said Ndambi did not show any remorse for committing the crime but believes he’s being targeted politically. 

“Ndambi still does not reckon that he wrongfully benefitted from &33Million that the Mozambican people badly need” the judge added. 

Armando Ndambi Guebuza was found guilty of money laundering, embezzlement, and criminal association, among others, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay a fine amounting to $2,500. 

Among the ten others found guilty were two top intelligence service officials, General Director Gregorio Leao, and the head of the economic unit, Antonio Carlos do Rosario. Both men were found guilty of embezzlement and abuse of power and each was sentenced to 12 years in prison. 

Delivering the judgment, Baptista said the convicted had by their action helped impoverish Mozambique’s people. 

“The defendants tarnish the good image of the country abroad and in the international markets, with enduring and hard-to-repair effects,” he said. 

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