Sonangol Pays The Vice-President For His Private Maids’ Wages

The Angolan state oil company, Sonangol, pays the wages of the maids and housekeepers working at the private homes of Vice-President Manuel Vicente.

Vicente, who was chairman of the board and CEO of Sonangol before entering politics, continues to receive the sum of US $ 43,212 each year from Sonangol for the payment of his maids.

In January 2012, President José Eduardo dos Santos relieved Manuel Vicente of his duties at Sonangol and appointed him to the Ministry of Economic Coordination, with the rank of Minister of State. The ministry, created especially to accommodate Manuel Vicente, was abolished with his promotion to vice president in September 2012.

Manuel Vicente, in addition to the perks and benefits attached to the post of vice president, is one of the richest men in Africa. The business empire that he shares with generals Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias Júnior “Kopelipa” and Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, frontman for President Dos Santos, makes Manuel Vicente a billionaire. Why would a billionaire with the power of vice-president in one of the most corrupt countries in the world need to violate the law in order to pay his maids’ wages?

The Office of the Vice-President includes a department of stewardship and support for the official residence of the vice-president. The state pays for the entire domestic staff requested by Manuel Vicente for his household as vice-president, and for any functions attached to his official duties and his official representation of the Republic of Angola. As a billionaire known for spending thousands of euros per bottle of Petrus wine, Manuel Vicente has both the legal obligation and ample means to pay the wages of no matter how many maids he may have or need in his several private residences

The answer for such mean-heartedness is simple. The greed, the habit of plundering the state’s funds and assets, the lack of any moral and ethical principles, the arrogance and abuse of power place no limits on the behavior of Manuel Vicente and other leaders of the same strain.

The Vice-President violates the principle of public probity by benefiting illegally from monthly offers from a public company, paid to him in foreign currency. That behavior undermines his independence and neutrality and thus puts in question “the independence of his judgment and the credibility and authority of government agencies and their services,” as established by the Law on Public Probity.

However, Manuel Vicente is not the only member of José Eduardo dos Santos’s executive to use the expedient of maids’ wage refunds to amass a few more pennies at the expense of Sonangol. The former deputy director-general of Sonangol and current secretary of state for New Technologies and the Environment, Syanga Kuvuila Samuel Abílio, continues to receive an annual total of US $38,999, from Sonangol, as “subsidy support for domestic activities.”

Vice-President Manuel Vicente was deputy director-general of Sonangol from 1991-1999. For the following 13 years he served as chairman of the board of directors and CEO of the national oil company.