Masters in Corruption at the Independent University

Not many developing countries manage to create 20 universities, including public and private, in the space of a decade. In 2009 alone, the Angolan government created six new universities by presidential decree. The expansion of higher education has been extraordinary. Since the Catholic University of Angola, the country’s first private higher education institution, was founded in 2001, the government has recognised a further 15 private universities. This article does not try to deal with the quality or the standards of higher education in the country, nor indeed with education in general. Instead, it untangles some of the political and commercial dealings, including conflicts of interest that have made possible the recent proliferation of universities within the current legal framework. As its first case study, Maka Angola presents here the results of its investigation into the Universidade Independente de Angola (UnIA – Independent University of Angola), which was founded and began […]

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Isabel dos Santos: Honour and Lies

Within days, Livia Locci, the public prosecutor for the Court of Turin in Italy, will decide on the merits of a complaint of defamation, lodged against three Italian journalists, by Isabel dos Santos, the firstborn daughter of the Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos. As a citizen, Isabel dos Santos is, at all times, entitled to and ought to invoke the universal right to her honour and good name, wherever she is or feels unjustly treated. This right also extends to all citizens of Angola, who, by force of circumstances, have been governed by her father for the past 32 years. The present text deals only with the arguments presented by Isabel dos Santos to the Italian court which have a direct bearing on Angolan citizens, and which could be damaging to the country and the honour of the Angolan people. The Facts On July 15, 2007, the Italian newspaper, […]

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CNN’s Plans Positive Coverage of Angola

The CNN Press Office (London) has responded to the concerns raised by Maka Angola on the agreements made between the international news network and the Angolan regime, regarding a media campaign to promote a better image of the latter, due to grave concerns of nepotism and corruption. In a rejoinder to CNN’s response, Maka Angola offers further clarification: “The Angolan General Law of Advertisement, of July 30, 2002, states that all State and official advertisement should be done through a “public tendering procedure” (Art. 35, 1). This law has been violated by the Angolan presidency which allocated, without public tender, and through nepotism and corruption, millions of dollars for the president’s children to contract CNN International advertisement services.” Click here to download Maka Angola’s rejoinder to the CNN’s response. It is also instructive to remind CNN of the visit made by its Africa Bureau chief, Kim Norgaard, to Angola, last […]

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Kero: Manuel Vicente Goes Shopping with State Money

The Kero hypermarket, probably the biggest in Angola, might be considered a model of private investment due to the way it has improved the range, and quality of consumer goods available in the country. But it has also proved to be a model example of how Angola’s top officials continue to ignore the distinction between public and private property and have turned themselves into the country’s top entrepreneurs. Kero has been operating for a year, in Luanda’s Nova Vida suburb. In an interview with the weekly paper O País, Kero’s Brazilian Director-General, João Santos, revealed how much MONEY had been invested by a group of Angolan businessmen in partnership with Banco Privado Atlântico: “The US$35 million is a combination of private capital and resources freed up by the partnership with Atlântico.” The hypermarket occupies a surface area of 7,500 square metres and a total area of 11,000 square metres. A […]

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Dos Santos: Nepotism and corruption in CNN Broadcast Deal

President José Eduardo dos Santos’s regime has made great efforts to present Angola to the world as a place of modernity, good governance and prosperity, and as a country that looks after its citizens. Official budget documents show that, for the 2012 fiscal year, Dos Santos has set aside has set aside about US$40 million from the presidency’s budget for an initiative run by his own son and daughter for promoting a positive image of Angola to the world. A private Angolan company, Semba Comunicação, has borne the responsibility of improving the image of the Angolan regime since 2006. The company claims that soon after its launch it presented on CNN International “the campaign that changed the concept of African public relations at the level of the international media”: the “Angola, grow with us” campaign by the National Private Investment Agency (ANIP). Out of the share of the presidential budget […]

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Tchizé dos Santos: Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

On 5 November 2010 the president of the Republic of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, authorised the minister of Mining and Industry to extend the terms of a diamond mining concession in Lunda-Norte province, primarily to the benefit of his daughter Welwitschea José dos Santos, usually known as ‘Tchizé’. Presidential Decree 296/10 of 2 December 2010 ordered a two-year extension to Projecto Muanga’s Licence for Prospecting, Research and Identification for Kimberlite diamonds, in Lunda-Norte province. President dos Santos initially authorised the project on 14 July 2005 as a partnership between the state diamond company Endiama (51 per cent), Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Mineiro – SDM (20 per cent), Odebrecht (19 per cent) and Di Oro (10 per cent). SDM is a joint venture between Endiama and Odebrecht, a Brazilian multinational. Di Oro – Sociedade de Negócios, established in 2003, is owned entirely by Tchizé dos Santos (73.34 per cent), her husband […]

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Sonangol’s Hotel Bills don’t Add Up

The national oil company Sonangol, which is the largest state-owned company, has been regarded internationally as an oasis of competence and good management practice in Angola. At the same time, Sonangol has also been accused from abroad of being the main vehicle for the looting and disappearance of billions of dollars in oil revenues. However, Angolans themselves need to pay closer scrutiny to the current management of Sonangol, which supplies about half of the funds that make up the country’s annual state budget. In 2010, Sonangol picked up a bill of over US $1 million for nine days’ worth of accommodation and expenses at the Suite Hotel Maianga in Luanda. The hotel bills (see the table) amounting to US $1,346,022.50 were paid through Banco Africano de Investimentos (BAI), of which Sonangol is the main shareholder, with an 18.5 percent share. The three-star hotel has 54 rooms including two executive suites […]

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Generals Accused of Crimes Against Humanity

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA RUA 17 DE SETEMBRO, CIDADE ALTA LUANDA MOST HONORABLE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC GENERAL JOÃO MARIA MOREIRA DE SOUSA Rafael Marques de Morais, [personal details redacted], pursuant to the terms of article 73 of the Constitution, hereby lodges a CRIMINAL COMPLAINT Against: 1. THE PARTNERS OF THE COMPANY  SOCIEDADE LUMANHE – EXTRACÇÃO MINEIRA, IMPORTAÇÃO E EXPORTAÇÃO, LIMITADA, (cf. DR, Series III, nº 33, 2004), Rua Comandante Dangereux, n.º 130, Luanda: A)    GENERAL HÉLDER MANUEL VIEIRA DIAS JÚNIOR “Kopelipa”, Minister of State and Head of the Military Bureau of the Presidency of the Republic; B)    GENERAL CARLOS ALBERTO HENDRICK VAAL DA SILVA, Inspector-General of the General Staff of the FAA [Angolan Armed Forces]; C)    GENERAL ARMANDO DA CRUZ NETO, Governor of Benguela and former Chief of the General Staff of the FAA; D)    GENERAL ADRIANO MAKEVELA MACKENZIE, Head of the Directorate for […]

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The ill-gotten gains behind the Kilamba housing development

Since last July, thousands of Angolan citizens living in Luanda have been making desperate efforts to acquire state-funded public housing apartments in the Kilamba development. The private real estate company hired to sell the apartments and funded by the state, Delta Imobiliária, charges prices ranging from US$125,000 to US$200,000 per apartment. These unaffordable prices, and the disclosure of the names of Delta Imobiliaria’s shareholders, reveal yet another corruption scandal. Contrary to the government’s established ceiling prices for state-funded social housing, Delta is overpricing the units by two to three times. On 5 August 2010, the President of the Republic, José Eduardo dos Santos, announced that struggling Angolan families would be able to buy state funded social housing for a maximum price of US$60,000 per unit. He made the announcement during his speech at the meeting of the National Program for Social Housing, held at the presidential palace. In the run […]

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Angolan Parliament splashes over $43 million on BMWs

The Angolan ruling party, the MPLA, has over the last two years been repeating its promise to keep a watch on the administration, the management of public resources and the well being of Angolans. This article compares the promises with the reality, and shows how the members of parliament have been serving their own interests rather than the interests of the people they supposedly represent. On 16 June 2010, the National Assembly renegotiated a loan contract with the Banco do Comércio e Indústria (BCI) worth 3.21 billion kwanzas (equivalent to 35.7 million US dollars) for the purchase of 210 cars, the 2010 model of the BMW 535i series. These vehicles, valued at $168.9 thousand each, are for parliamentarians’ use on official business and are to be delivered by the end of the year only. The current budget for 2010, for the acquisition of vehicles for parliamentarians, officials and personnel of […]

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