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This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) from 1995 to 2001 and by Africa Action from 2001 to 2003. APIC was merged into Africa Action in 2001. Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.

Mozambique: Corruption and Murder

AFRICA ACTION
Africa Policy E-Journal
March 4, 2003 (030304)

Mozambique: Corruption and Murder
(Reposted from sources cited below)

This posting contains background information and a request for individual signatures on a petition to Transparency International, nominating murdered economist Antonio Siba-Siba Macuacua in Mozambique for the organization's integrity award. As noted in the background material from Joseph Hanlon and the Mozambican News Agency below, the trial for the murder of journalist Carlos Cardoso concluded in January with conviction and strong sentences for his murderers. But the issues of corruption and intimidation Cardoso was dealing with have not been resolved. A key test is the stalled investigation of the murder of economist and banker Macuacua.

For more background, in Portuguese and English, see http://www.sortmoz.com/aimnews

To sign the petition to support the nomination , please use the email address in the posting below. Please note that the request is for individual support, not for organizational endorsements.

+++++++++++++++++end summary/introduction+++++++++++++++++++++++

Murdered Mozambican Economist Nominated for Transparency International Award

March 2, 2003

This e-mailing was circulated by Joseph Hanlon, j.hanlon@open.ac.uk

As part of the campaign to force the Mozambican government to investigate the assassination of economist Antonio Siba-Siba Macuacua, a group of prominent Mozambicans has nominated him posthumously for the 2003 Integrity Award of the anti-corruption body Transparency International (TI).

Among those nominating Siba-Siba are: Mozambique's former first lady, Graca Machel; former finance minister Abdul Magid Osman; the country's best known writer, novelist Mia Couto; Supreme Court judge Norberto Carrilho; prominent journalists Salomao Moyana and Machado da Graca; and economists Roberto Tibana and Antonio Francisco.

A petition in support of the nomination (below) is now being circulated, and readers of this newsletter and other supporters of Mozambique are encouraged to sign.

Siba-Siba was the head of banking supervision at the Bank of Mozambique and became emergency chair of the privatised Austral Bank when it collapsed in April 2001 after fraud carried out by highly placed people. Siba-Siba attempted to recover bad debts, including some from senior people in government and in Frelimo. He also cancelled contracts signed by the previous board, including one in with Nyimpine Chissano, son of President Joaquim Chissano, who was paid $3000 per month despite his lack of experience in banking.

On 11 August 2001, unknown assailants murdered Siba-Siba as he worked in his office on the top floor of the Austral headquarters and threw his body down the stairwell. The nominees for the TI award say that the murder of Siba-Siba "was meant to send a signal that organized crime was very much in control." They note that "there are no indications of firm steps being taken by the authorities to seriously investigate, find the suspected killers and their masters, and subject them to trial. On the contrary, many people are still being subjected to pressure and made fearful of continuing the call for justice."

A more detailed AIM report is below. A longer report on the bank scandals and assassination of Siba-Siba is on the web on http://www.mol.co.mz/noticias/metical/2001/en010917.html


PETITION TO SUPPORT TI NOMINATION

In November 2000, journalist Carlos Cardoso was assassinated for investigating bank fraud. Initially there was no investigation. But there was an international campaign, including an award by Transparency International. Under this pressure, the killing was investigated, and in January 2003 six people were found guilty of that murder. A similar campaign can force an investigation of the assassination of Siba-Siba. A key step would be a TI award, and we ask economists and all those interested in Mozambique and in justice and integrity to sign this petition to Transparency International.

  • Alan Harding, Centre for Study of African Economies, Oxford
  • Joseph Hanlon, Open University

If you wish to support this petition, which will be sent to the Transparency International office in Berlin, Germany, please reply to ahardingox@yahoo.co.uk by 15 March stating your name, address (city, country) and, optionally, your professional affiliation. Also, please circulate this petition to your friends and contacts.

TEXT OF THE PETITION TO TI:

We, the undersigned, wish to support the recent nomination of Antonio Siba-Siba Macuacua for the 2003 Transparency International Integrity Awards. We believe that Siba-Siba would be a worthy recipient of this reward in recognition of his outstanding courage, determination and integrity as a government official seeking to investigate and publicise widespread fraud and high-level corruption in the Mozambican banking sector. We also believe that this award would play an important role in putting necessary pressure on the Mozambican authorities to instigate a full and comprehensive investigation into his brutal assassination on Saturday 11 August 2001, which, to date, has been sadly lacking.

In his short career, António Siba-Siba Macuacua had already demonstrated that he possessed the necessary qualities to be a role model for a new, younger generation of Mozambican leaders wishing to work for a society based upon transparency, justice and the rule of law. His assassination was designed to send a clear message to those involved in Mozambican public life that such a society is not achievable. By supporting his nomination for this award and by demanding that those involved in his murder be brought to justice, we wish to declare our solidarity with all those in Mozambique who are working for higher standards in public life and against the forces of crime and corruption.


104203E Siba-Siba Nominated for International Award

Maputo, 26 Feb (AIM) - A group of prominent Mozambicans have nominated murdered economist Antonio Siba-Siba Macuacua posthumously for the 2003 Integrity Award, the prize awarded by the anti-corruption body Transparency International (TI).

Siba-Siba was the head of banking supervision at the Bank of Mozambique. When the privatised Austral Bank collapsed under a mountain of bad debt in April 2001, and its private shareholders refused to recapitalise the bank, returning their shares to the state instead, the Central Bank appointed the 33 year old SibaSiba chairman of a provisional board set up to rescue Austral.

Siba-Siba set about investigating the true state of the Austral finances, and attempting to recover the debts. He even had a list of over 1,200 debtors published in the main daily paper "Noticias" in June.

He also cancelled those contracts signed by the previous board which he regarded as worthless. One of the contracts he tore up was with Nyimpine Chissano, oldest son of President Joaquim Chissano, who had been hired as a consultant on the breathtaking salary of 3,000 dollars a month, despite his lack of experience in banking.

On 11 August 2001, unknown assailants attacked Siba-Siba as he worked in his office on the top floor of the Austral headquarters. They murdered him and threw his body down the stairwell. Since that date nobody has been arrested for the assassination, and the police have issued virtually no statements, beyond the routine claim that investigations are continuing.

Among those nominating Siba-Siba for the integrity award are the country's former first lady, Graca Machel, former finance minister Abdul Magid Osman, the country's best known writer, novelist Mia Couto, Supreme Court judge Norberto Carrilho, prominent journalists Salomao Moyana and Machado da Graca, and economists Roberto Tibana and Antonio Francisco.

In their statement backing the nomination, they describe Siba-Siba as "a man of integrity and competence, full of energy, driven only by the sense of well-doing for his country, an example for his generation and for generations to come, who was perfidiously targeted by organised crime, and killed in the most barbaric way".

The group argue that the murder of Siba-Siba "was meant to send a signal that organized crime was very much in control and would not tolerate those who crossed their line".

They note that "there are no indications of firm steps being taken by the authorities to seriously investigate, find the suspected killers and their masters, and subject them to trial".

"On the contrary", they add, "many people are still being subjected to pressure and made fearful of continuing the call for justice. Domestic civil society has awoken and is doing its best to support and encourage those in the police and judiciary who remain honest and willing to discharge their duties with courage, responsibility and honesty, but there is a desperate need for moral support".

The nominators argue that "By awarding Antonio Siba-Siba Macuacua the Integrity Award and, in doing so, further raising the awareness of the local and the international community and organizations for his case, Transparency International will make an important contribution to the cause of fighting against corruption in Mozambique, Africa, and the world at large".

The nomination of Siba-Siba now goes to the Transparency International Integrity Awards committee, which will draw up a shortlist. The winners will be announced at the opening of the 11th International Anti-Corruption Conference to be held in Seoul, South Korea, on 25 May.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Transparency International, Peter Eigen, describes TI as "the only nongovernmental organisation dedicated to the struggle against
corruption". It has more than 90 national branches throughout the world, working to reduce the supply and demand of corruption.

A recent article by Eigen notes that one in four of the journalists killed in 2001 because they were investigating corruption. That year TI awarded murdered Mozambican journalist Carlos Cardoso a posthumous award, describing him as "a symbol of tenacity and integrity in the battle against corruption". (AIM) pf/ (669)


Carlos Cardoso Murder Trial
Verdict details

Mailing 14 - 31 January 2003

AIM clippings circulated by Joseph Hanlon (j.hanlon@open.ac.uk)

ANIBALZINHO RECAPTURED & RETURNED TO MAPUTO: Anibalzinho, who was convicted today (Friday) of organising the killing of Carlos Cardoso, was returned to Maputo this evening. He had been allowed to escape from the maximum security prison on 1 September, and was arrested near Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday.

OTHERS MAY BE INVOLVED: Giving his ruling, the presiding judge, Augusto Paulino stressed that "others" could also have been involved in the murder of journalist Carlos Cardoso. Paulino specifically mentioned Nyimpine Chissano, the son of President Joaquim Chissano, who is already under investigation by the Public Prosecutor's Office. Businesswoman Maria Candida Cossa and others with links at the top of Frelimo were also mentioned at the trial, both in connection with the murder, and in relation to money laundering and other financial misconduct.

ALL 6 CONVICTED: All six men accused for murdering journalist Carlos Cardoso were found guilty today and sentenced to long jail terms. Anibal dos Santos Junior ("Anibalzinho"), who escaped from prison and was tried in absentia, and who recruited the death squad that murdered Cardoso and drove the car used in the ambush, was sentenced to 28 years and 6 months in prison. The two other members of the death squad, Carlitos Rachide ("Carlitos") who fired the fatal shots, and Manuel Fernandes (“Escurinho”) who acted as look-out, each received a sentence of 23 years and 6 months. The other three were found guilty of ordering the assassination. Loan shark Nini Satar was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment and his brother Ayob Satar, owner of the Unicambios foreign exchange bureau, to 23 years and three months. Their associate, former bank manager Vicente Ramaya, received a sentence of 23 years and six months. Carlos Cardoso's two children were awarded $588,000 in compensation and the injured driver, Carlos Manjate, was awarded $21,000.

...

123103E Cardoso Murder: Long Prison Sentences Imposed

Maputo, 31 Jan 2003 (AIM) - The Maputo City Court on Friday found all six men charged with the murder of Mozambique's top investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso guilty, and sentenced them to prison terms of up to 28 years and six months.

All six were also found guilty of the attempted murder of Cardoso's driver, Carlos Manjate, who was severely injured in the November 2000 ambush.

The man who received the longest jail term is Anibal dos Santos Junior ("Anibalzinho"). He was tried in absentia, because he was illicitly released from the Maputo top security prison on 1 September. However, South African police arrested him on the outskirts of Pretoria on Thursday, and he is likely to be extradited to Mozambique at the weekend.

The court found that Anibalzinho recruited the death squad that murdered Cardoso and drove the car used in the ambush.

He was sentenced to 22 years for first degree murder, 18 years for attempted murder, 10 years for criminal conspiracy, 10 years for the theft of the car used in the assassination, 9 years for illegal use of a firearm, 14 months for the use of a false passport, eight months for two counts of the use of false names, and four months for making false statements to the authorities.

This was consolidated into a single prison term of 28 years and six months. This is longer than the usual maximum of 24 years, partly because of the multiplicity of crimes committed, and partly because the court decided that Anibalzinho is "a habitual delinquent".

The two other members of the death squad, Carlitos Rachide (who fired the fatal shots), and Manuel Fernandes (who acted as look-out), each received a sentence of 23 years and six months. Telling marginally in their favour was the fact that they had both freely confessed to the crime, which the court regarded as a mitigating circumstance.

The other three accused were all found guilty of ordering the crime. Loan shark Momade Assife Abdul Satar ("Nini") was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment, and his brother, Ayob Abdul Satar, owner of the Unicambios foreign exchange bureau, is to serve 23 years and three months. Their associate, former bank manager Vicente Ramaya, received a sentence of 23 years and six months.

In addition, the court ordered the six to pay compensation of 14 billion meticais (588,000 US dollars) to Cardoso's two children, 13 year old Ibo and seven year old Milena, and 500 million meticais (21,000 US dollars) to Carlos Manjate.

This is 100 per cent of the compensation which the lawyers for the Cardoso family and for Manjate had demanded. In addition, the court ordered Anibalzinho and Fernandes to pay 12,000 dollars to the company that owned the stolen Citi-Golf used in the murder, even though the company had not asked for compensation.

The court decreed that a variety of goods seized from the assassins are forfeit to the state. These include all the mobile phones that they were using illicitly in the prison, and cars purchased with the payment for the assassination.

One of these cars is a Mercedes-Benz acquired by Anibalzinho immediately after the murder. The presiding judge, Augusto Paulino, noted that this car "has miraculously returned to a relative of Anibalzinho from the police car park where it was being held". He issued a warrant ordering that the Mercedes be seized at once, and returned to police custody.

In the four hour ruling, giving the court's reasons for its verdict and sentence, Paulino stressed that "others" could also have been involved in the murder. The court agreed with the prosecution that the reason why the Satar brothers and Ramaya~ wanted to eliminate Cardoso was because of his investigation into the massive fraud in which the country's largest bank, the BCM, lost 144 billion meticais (14 million dollars at the exchange rate of the time). The money was stolen at Ramaya's BCM branch, through accounts opened by members of the Abdul Satar family.

But Paulino did not rule the possibility that other people may have been involved in the assassination for "other motives".

The court believed that the murder had been plotted at conspiratorial meetings held in mid-2000 in the Rovuma hotel. But the judges believed that there had been other meetings "which included the participation of individuals other than the defendants". These meetings had taken place at Unicambios, at the house of rich businesswoman Candida Cossa, and at Expresso Tours, the company owned by Nyimpine Chissano, the oldest son of President Joaquim Chissano.

Paulino noted that these meetings, at which Nyimpine Chissano was allegedly present were reported by Nini Satar to Antonio Frangoulis, the then head of the Maputo branch of the Criminal Investigation Police (PIC). Frangoulis reported this to his superiors (including Interior Minister Almerino Manhenje), following which he was sacked.

The court could neither condemn or acquit Nyimpine Chissano, since he is not a defendant in this case. But the fact that Paulino mentioned Nyimpine and Expresso Tours will certainly give further impetus to the separate case file, currently in the hands of the Public Prosecutor's Office, in which Chissano Jr is a suspect. (AIM) pf/ (835)

+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Date distributed (ymd): 030304
Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +economy/development+ +political/rights+


The Africa Action E-Journal is a free information service provided by Africa Action, including both original commentary and reposted documents. Africa Action provides this information and analysis in order to promote U.S. and international policies toward Africa that advance economic, political and social justice and the full spectrum of human rights.

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