Mozambique’s Central Bank Governor Rogério Zandamela on Wednesday argued that out-of-court settlements within the scope of the country’s $2.2 billion “hidden debts” scandal would “improve macroeconomic indicators” in the country and take pressure off the management of international reserves.
The term “hidden debts” refers to loans worth $2.2 billion obtained from the banks Credit Suisse and VTB Russia by three Mozambican companies, ProIndicus, EMATUM (Mozambique Tuna Company) and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management), with the sole contractor and supplier, the Abu Dhabi-based group Privinvest, selling them fishing boats, radar stations and other assets at exceedingly inflated prices, between 2013 and 2014.
“The cancellation of debts contributes to improving the sustainability of macroeconomic indicators, with emphasis on the profile of commercial debt, which will consequently exert less pressure on international reserves,” said Zandamela, speaking at the opening of Banco de Moçambique’s advisory council meeting in the southern city of Inhambane.
In October, Mozambique reached an out-of.-court settlement with the Swiss UBS Group, which bought Credit Suisse in June, releasing the financial institution from the trial currently underway in the London High Court after Mozambique sued Credit Suisse, Privinvest and others, seeking around $1.5 billion in compensation following the role they had played in the $2.2 billion hidden debts loan to three Mozambican state companies
Under the agreement, UBS said that it offered Mozambique $100 million, which was not confirmed internally.
Meanwhile, reports say that the out-of-court settlement money was used to pay eight financial institutions that had entered the ProIndicus syndicated loan.
With the agreement, UBS Group and Mozambique agreed to release one another from any liabilities and claims.
It is interesting that out-of-court settlements that Mozambique has been signing with international financial entities involved in the hidden debts scandal are seen by the Central Bank Governor as “important” for the national economic metrics.
One thing that should not be forgotten is that President Filipe Nyusi is clearly and obviously part of the problem that such out-of-court settlements seek to minimise or stifle and, according to Zandamela, improve the country’s economic indicators.
Be that as it may, the aesthetics of these operations and Nyusi’s manoeuvres to evade the London trial indicate a somewhat desperate attempt to get out of a case in which he is clearly implicated and, if justice prevails, he deserves to appear in court to answer for some of the accusations levelled against him.
Furthermore, in Mozambique, Nyusi is a shadow defendant who deserves a fair trial and the same or aggravated fate as his colleagues in the cabal that looted public money and be held politically responsible for the country’s security debacle.
The fun fact of these settlements is that Nyusi could evade justice when his name is insistently being mentioned by all parts involved as having benefitted from the proceeds of the hidden debts.
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