The business dealings of Angolan Members of Parliament

It has become common practice for Angolan Members of Parliament to set up commercial companies with members of the government and with foreign investors for personal gain, in the same way that they have done with state contracts. This practice potentially creates situations that prevent them from conducting their duties as parliamentarians, as well as conflicts of interest and influence peddling. In short, it risks making corruption an institution inside parliament.

On 24 December 2008 the Chairperson of the National Assembly, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, promised during the end-of-year celebrations that members of parliament would play a role in monitoring the government’s actions, as a contribution to good governance and transparency in the country. While the country awaits the result of such a promise, this article reveals a reality that calls for greater attention and monitoring by the Chairperson of the National Assembly and by society at large. It deals with public scrutiny of what parliamentarians are doing while serving as elected representatives of the people.

I present the first six cases of parliamentarians whose business activities and extra-parliamentary roles raise various questions in the light of current legislation. This series of investigations, exclusively based on official documents, is intended above all to inform public opinion in a way that will make people aware of how our leaders are using the name and sovereign power of the Angolan people. Whose interests are they serving? That is the question.

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