Minister axed over graft scandal
Publish date: 11 February 2019
Issue Number: 810
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
President Filipe Nyusi has sacked Deputy Finance Minister Isaltina Lucas who has been implicated in a widening scandal over alleged fraudulent government loans totalling $2bn. Lucas was Mozambique’s national treasury director when she signed guarantees in 2013 and 2014 for the loans to three state-owned security companies. A report on the News24 site notes that an independent audit has found that $500m of the loans, which were deliberately hidden from the country's Parliament as well as international donors, was diverted and remains unaccounted for. The US alleges that at least $200m was spent on bribes and kickbacks, including $12m for former Finance Minister Manuel Chang, who also signed off on the debt guarantees. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Chang was arrested in SA in December on a US extradition request for his alleged involvement in the loans.