Theunis Crous, Executive Director of the South African aviation company, Fly Modern Ark, which in April entered into a management partnership with LAM (Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique – Mozambique Airlines), Mozambique’s flag carrier, has denounced corrupt practices he found in the Mozambican company.
Crous said that the systemic corruption involved overcharging for the services provided and, in some cases, there were no contracts, and he holds the administrators responsible. “They ran the company the way they wanted,” adding that they are strongly “resistance to change.”
He could not be drawn to say whether Fly Modern Ark management had reported the corrupt practices to the relevant Mozambican authorities.
However, Crous did say that his company was preparing a detailed report of the practices. For example, LAM had over 54 bank accounts in Mozambique and other countries such as Portugal and South Africa, which he found acceptable as the company flies to those destinations. But he could not understand a bank account in Botswana.
Fly Modern Ark, which is expected will help turn the Mozambican airline company’s fortune around, after decades of haemorrhaging money and running at a loss, has said that it lowered $61.6 million since April out of $300 million of LAM’s debt, and its revenues had gone up by 10 percent.
LAM’s management is symptomatic of the harmful management of many public entities. Nepotism is widespread and political acquiescence comes when corrupt managers manipulate political figures from government to party. They hand out individual gifts and allow family members to join the company where they will do nothing to the detriment of the progression of professionals within the company.
Another issue is Frelimo’s tight grip over the use of LAM for its events such as congresses, delegation trips and party activities and delays in repaying these expenses. Frelimo leaders use the most expensive classes while the government proclaims public cost control.
Opportunism has flourished in this sea of abuse at LAM and the networks of dishonest officials that include politically chosen administrators have done the rest and the criminal scheme has turned LAM into a bankrupt company over the years and has grounded a company that was a national pride flying to three continents and today barely flies to Gaza.
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