Phantom General in Huíla

By Lázaro Pinduca War veterans, in the Huila province, have come out publicly to demand answers on the promotion of local businessman, Luís da Fonseca Nunes, to the rank of lieutenant general and as the beneficiary of a monthly pension from the Social Security Fund of the Angolan Armed Forces (CSS/FAA). Nunes is one of the most prominent businessmen in Angola. Notwithstanding, the former soldiers expressed concern that he should be awarded a lifelong monthly pension from the social fund, as a lieutenant general, without having ever served in the military. According to the president of the Independent Forum of Demobilized Angolan War Veterans (FIDEGA), Lieutenant-colonel Manuel Nunes, “we can confirm that the businessman is a general”. The official explains that, in 2009, “we suggested to the then prime minister, general Paulo Kassoma, that a legal protocol for complaints be established, in order to tackle the problem of phantom officers, […]

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The Angolans’ Exclusive Building in Estoril Sol

Displays of wealth by nouveau riche Angolans have become legendary in Portugal in recent years. Angolan leaders and their families and business associates have been buying up some of the country’s most opulent properties. A typical case is that of Estoril Sol Residence, a luxury housing complex comprising three buildings of a distinctive and controversial design in Estoril, a coastal suburb of Lisbon. The complex contains some of Portugal’s most expensive apartments, priced at between one million and five million euros per unit. The complex, opened two years ago, is well known as “the Angolans’ building”, since Angolans are the main property owners there, holding title to about 30 apartments. An investigation by Maka Angola has revealed the names of the rich Angolans who own property in Estoril Sol Residence. The Minister of Public Administration, Employment and Social Security, António Domingos Pitra Costa Neto, is the owner of five apartments […]

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Political Violence in Benguela

By Nelson Sul D’Angola   Political intolerance forced seven families associated with UNITA to flee from Capupa commune on the night of Sunday, July 22. The families, totaling 31 people in all, arrived in the municipal town of Cubal, in Benguela province, around midday on Monday. According to Paulo Kananga, a member of UNITA who had to abandon his home at short notice with his wife and three children, “the [ruling] MPLA secretary in Cambulo village, Deolindo Dumbo, came to my house armed with a spear and arrows, while Felipe César from the local MPLA committee came with a machete in his hand to chase us out of the village”. “They came to the house with death threats, and told my family that the arrows were meant for us if we stayed in the area,” Kananga told Maka Angola. The MPLA members also visited the other influential local UNITA members, […]

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Fatal Victims in Clashes Between UNITA and MPLA

By António Capalandanda and Rafael Marques de Morais: Over the last few months there has been an increase in the level of violence between the ruling MPLA and UNITA supporters in Huambo and Benguela. These two provinces are electoral battlegrounds of extreme political symbolism for the two largest national political parties. Sparse coverage in the media and a lack of dialogue across society regarding this increasing tension foreshadows a climate of mistrust amongst citizens and growing fear with regard to the upcoming elections on August 31, as well as its aftermath. Maka Angola brings to light some recent incidents so that the public can be better informed about current focal points of tension. Supporters from both the MPLA and UNITA, and especially their leaderships, share a burden of increased responsibility in promoting political stability and maintaining peace. Three serious incidents took place in the province of Huambo in just two days. […]

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Rapper and Activist Luaty Beirão Released

The Angolan activist rapper Luaty Beirão was released from custody by the Portuguese police on the evening of June 12. The day before, the rapper travelled to Lisbon, in a flight from Luanda, and was swiftly arrested at the airport upon collecting his luggage, which contained cocaine. Luaty was released without charges. While the investigations continue, the rapper, who has dual citizenship, including the Portuguese, must report to the police, if he is to be absent from the country for more than five days. According to his producer and friend, Pedro Coquenão, customs officials found a packet of cocaine inside the tyre of his bicycle, which he had checked-in from Angola, wrapped in plastic, in order to exchange it in Lisbon, where he had previously bought it. Pedro Coquenão explained that when the rapper collected the bicycle wheel from the luggage carousel, he noticed a bulge in the tyre and […]

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Demobilized Soldiers Protest in Luanda

Up to 3,000 demobilized soldiers staged a surprising protest today, in the capital Luanda, marching towards the presidential palace. They went to claim disability pensions and the dues owed to them for years of military service. Initially, the group departed at around 9 am from the general headquarters of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), and walked almost three kilometers to the gates of the Ministry of Defense, which is just a few hundred meters from the presidential palace. With remarkable organizational and tactical skills, the former soldiers pushed through three barriers strongly manned by the presidential guard and riot police, and fought off the police batons and the canine brigade with kicks. At least two protesters were reported injured by the dogs. For up to an hour, a standoff ensued in front of the Ministry of Defense, where the presidential guard, the riot police, the canine brigade, strongly armed military […]

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