Challenging Angola’s Election Result

The official result of the Angolan elections gave victory to the MPLA with 51.17% of the total votes cast; UNITA coming second with 43.95%. UNITA reacted to the announcement by issuing a public statement that, until judgement is forthcoming in the legal challenges it submitted, the party would not accept the results given by the National Electoral Commission (the CNE) and would petition the Constitutional Court to freeze the CNE result pending judgement. UNITA’s statement makes three laudable points. First: the party has chosen to follow legal and institutional procedures to press its case, in line with the stance of the United States and European Union, who praised the peaceful conduct of the elections and urged that any dispute be settled through due judicial process. The UNITA leadership has thus rejected calls by ‘Trump style’ militants in the party who wanted to mobilize their supporters to march on parliament and […]

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Devolution: Local Government Is the Way Forward

The situation in Angola’s is complex. The younger generation have shown the depth of their discontent with the lack of opportunity for study or employment. Young people in Angola see nothing to help them offered in politicians’ and technocrats’ speeches about the economy and they are desperate to change their lives for the better. This is why, in the election that just took place, the younger generation overwhelmingly voted for change, and they did so in an unparalleled peaceful and orderly manner. No good purpose could be served by creating a situation in which peace and tranquillity are abandoned for conflict and violence. Destructive behaviour now is not going to deliver employment or put food on the table. There has to be a political response that meets the aspirations of the younger generation, that eases the pain of a demographic that has shown it wants a radical change in politics, […]

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Angolan Elections 2022: Polling Day

From the time the polls opened at 0700, Angolans streamed into the Assembleias de Voto [polling stations] around the capital, Luanda, where some 33 percent of the national votes are cast.  Maka Angola spent the entire day touring the three most populous areas of Luanda.  What we witnessed was a peaceful, orderly, and swift process so far as the voting was concerned – later there would be allegations of some irregularities with videos circulated on social media alleging attempted fraud. More than 14 million Angolans were eligible to vote in the August 24 poll and it was clear from the moment the Assembleias de Voto opened, that they would be busy.  All eight parties contesting this election had the right to appoint delegates as observers – but not all the parties could muster enough observers to scrutinize each one, as witnessed by national and international observers monitoring voting in diverse […]

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Angolan Elections 2022: Indifferent Reception for President Lourenço in Malanje

Who writes the campaign speeches for the Angolan President? A statistician? For a couple of hours on Wednesday, João Lourenço stupefied would-be MPLA supporters at a campaign rally in Malanje with a stuttering list of his government’s ‘achievements’ over the past five years, doing nothing to inspire confidence in MPLA’s ability to deliver on their promise of a better future. Suffice to say, the speech was not well received by those in attendance. As the speech dragged on the frustration of those in attendance, particularly the young people, became all too clear. Members of the audience chatted, flittered, and giggled throughout, disregarding what was being said by the President. It was impossible to ignore the contempt demonstrated by the younger members of the audience, a clear signal that the MPLA was an antiquated out-of-touch party quickly losing its once uncontested grip on a pivotal demographic. At times the President would […]

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Angolan Elections 2022: Party Manifestos Silent on Judicial Reform

Ahead of Angola’s presidential and parliamentary elections this month, the United States Senate has taken the unusual step of passing a resolution calling for the electoral process to be conducted fairly, peacefully and transparently. Angolans might feel affronted by this: doesn’t their Constitution, along with numerous laws and regulations, already guarantee this? The Senate Resolution says: “Angola is classified as ‘Not Free’ by Freedom House due to the ruling MPLA’s abuse of state institutions to control political processes and limit free expression”. It is critical of state control over the mass media and bureaucratic interference in opposition parties, and demands all parties and candidates be allowed to campaign without undue restriction, harassment or intimidation. For this election to be credible, the US Senate urges the Angolan government to take a number of measures, including making electoral rolls public and allowing the European Union to send election monitors. In effect, the […]

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Angolan ex-President’s Men Indicted over Chinese Deals

On Friday July 8, coinciding with news of the death of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, it was revealed that two of his closest associates face trial on corruption charges in connection with business deals funded by the Peoples’ Republic of China to purchase Angolan oil and fund post-war reconstruction. Facing multiple criminal charges are two Angolan Generals, Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias Júnior (better known by his nom-de-guerre, ‘Kopelipa’), and Leopoldino Fragoso de Nascimento (aka General ‘Dino’) along with co-defendants including Fernando Gomes dos Santos (a lawyer), a Chinese national, You Haming, and three corporate bodies: the China International Fund (CIF) and two companies registered offshore, Plansmart and Utter Right.   The indictment, signed by three prosecutors[1] from the Ministério Público (Office of Public Prosecution) on July 4, runs to 80 pages listing 233 separate clauses detailing the alleged crimes, and citing 36 named witnesses to be called […]

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Family of Former Angolan President at War

The controversial former President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, is reportedly close to death at the private Teknon clinic in Barcelona[1] while family members fight over who has the right to switch off the machines keeping him alive. Amid unconfirmed reports that the 79-year-old former head of state is brain dead, the right of his wife, Ana Paula Lemos dos Santos, to take decisions as his next of kin is challenged by some of his children. His daughter, Welwitschia dos Santos, wants a full police investigation into what she alleges was “attempted homicide, criminal negligence, a failure to render assistance and a breach of medical confidentiality”. An official statement released “on behalf of the family”, late last week, stated that the former President had suffered a cardiac and respiratory arrest after falling downstairs at his Barcelona residence. This account is disputed by Welwitschia, known as ‘Tchizé’, who has instructed […]

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Audit Court in Leadership Crisis

Following Maka Angola’s report on Audit Court President Exalgina Gambôa’s US$4 million dollar spend on home décor for her government-gifted US$4 million dollar private residence, evidence has emerged of anger and disbelief amid the Audit Court Plenary Advisory Judges who were rushed into approving, without proper scrutiny, the Court’s annual accounts.  The whole process appears to have been crafted to obscure evidence that without due authorization Exalgina Gambôa had far exceeded the amounts for magisterial perquisites permitted by law, and in so doing had committed a crime and brought the Audit Court into disrepute. A scathing letter from Elisa Rangel Nunes, President of the Second Chamber of the Audit Court, dated June 22nd, expresses her dismay that an institution, “defined in the Angolan Constitution as the body that sits at the apex of supervision and control of public spending” has been irredeemably tarnished by its most senior official whose corrupt […]

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Audit Court Splashes Millions on Luxury for Boss

How did the President of Angola’s Court of Auditors manage to afford a home worth almost eight million US dollars? Allegedly by getting the State to pick up the bill. Whistle-blowers say Exalgina Gambôa should have the decency to step down while the Office of the Attorney-General of the Republic conducts a criminal investigation. This latest scandal makes a mockery of the Angolan government’s promise to fight corruption: it shows how the highest-ranking public officials – even those appointed to uphold the law – can abuse it with impunity by making use of their rank and privilege to divert state funds for private ends while still avoiding investigation and prosecution for corruption.For too many years Angola’s predatory political class has operated on the assumption that prestige positions in public service grants them the right to live in unparalleled luxury with all expenses charged to the state. The expectation of privileges […]

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Angola Drought Emergency

Humanitarian organizations are warning of an impending food emergency in southern Angola as the region faces the aftermath of the worst recorded drought in nearly half a century.  Launching an urgent eight-million-dollar appeal, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said five consecutive years of severe drought had left more than 1.5 million people at risk of famine.  It’s not known how many may have died already as a result of drought and malnutrition but thousands of starving people braved crocodile-infested rivers to cross the border into Namibia to seek help and survivors reported many dying along the way.  Namibia is repatriating drought refugees who, given the ongoing conditions, are having to regroup in resettlement camps in Angola. The Angola Red Cross has begun delivering primary assistance to the worst-affected areas in the provinces of Huila, Cunene and Namibe.  But the situation is said to be […]

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