The Mozambican state has limited or no capacity to supervise the operations of extractive industry companies, according to the Administrative Court deputy-General Accountant of the State General Account.
Victor Guibunda was speaking at a launch of Mozambique’s Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) third extractive industry index report, which seeks to promote transparency in the sector.
“The role of the (Administrative) Court is in a way limited with regards to the extractive sector. We’re talking about private entities who’ve contracts with the state. But the Court has no interaction with such companies, but with public entities who deal with such companies. In its workings, the Court oversees whether the public entities are complying with their roles,” said Guibunda.~
Unfortunately, the existing legislation does not allow the Court to do more than is currently doing. This is exacerbated by the fact that most of the public entities who hand out mining contracts do not have the technical and legal wherewithal to supervise the extractive industry companies.
Guibunda added that occasionally the Administrative Court carries out a due diligence process, using open sources, to check whether the companies are paying their dues or not. He said that in most situations the companies are not honest in their dealings.
What is not clear is whether this lack or limited oversight is deliberate or inadvertent. But successive governments have failed to beef up institutions who are supposed to perform oversight functions.
Those who claim it is deliberate point out the various clientelist networks that benefit from the opacity in the sector.
And those in the camp of things happening by accident argue that it is because of a lack of vision as to how to strengthen the state and its institutions across the board.
Regardless of which position one stands on, the country is continually losing much needed earnings for failure to adequately supervise, count and collect revenue.
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