Former Soldiers Postpone Demonstration in Lubango

More than 500 demobilized soldiers of the former People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) gathered today in the João de Almeida neighborhood of Lubango, in Huíla province, for a protest march calling for the payment of pensions that have been owed to them for 20 years. FAPLA was the army of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and upon independence in 1975 became the armed forces of the one-party state. They were incorporated into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) in 1992 in the context of the Bicesse Peace Agreements. The Angolan Independent Forum for War Demobilised (FIDEGA) was responsible for the initiative. According to its chairman, lieutenant-colonel Manuel Nunes, at the last minute FIDEGA decided to cancel the march after briefing his colleagues about the meeting he had had the previous day with the commander of the Southern Military Region. “Yesterday afternoon lieutenant-general Tchiloya […]

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Isaias Samakuva’s Fortune and the Call for Transparency

By Rob Pires: It all began with a photograph, published on facebook, of a house in a drab London suburb. A well-known pro-government social media activist, who goes by the name of ManDavid, claimed that it belonged to the UNITA leader, Isaias Samakuva. The UNITA leader, went the argument, was not poor. Several locations picked up on 192.com, a website that gives London addresses, were connected to people with the Samakuva surname. The activist claimed that the UNITA leader had bought all these London properties with party funds. The UNITA leader’s response was swift. He claimed that he was not “farinha do mesmo saco” (“flower from the same bag”) as his opponents in the ruling party. There have been well-documented allegations of corruption against several members of the ruling party. Samakuva claimed that he was going to declare all his possessions before June 19. True to his word, the UNITA […]

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Manuel Vicente: Transparently Corrupt

By Ana Silva   The scheduling of Election Day on August 31 casts a new light on the recent press conference that presented the Performance Report on Executive Activity for the first quarter of 2012. Manuel Vicente, Minister of State for Economic Coordination, lavished detailed praise on the government’s economic advances during his presentation to the media. He referred to newly constructed factories, schools and social housing, as well as investments in transportation infrastructure, and highlighted the launch of provincial radio broadcasters and regional television stations. The minister’s account may have led casual observers to believe that Angola is enjoying a period of true social and economic progress. The country’s economic growth is unequalled, thanks above all to the rise in oil production and prices on the international market. Yet the scene that Vicente described left out the vast majority of Angola’s population, which continues to live in abject misery, […]

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Multimillion-dollar Retirement in the FAA

During the course of this year, several army generals of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) will be demobilized, as part of a retirement scheme set in motion by the Commander-in-Chief, the president José Eduardo dos Santos. According to a source from the FAA General Staff, “this year alone 14 generals should be demobilised, and next year a further 20 will be retired”. Among the officers notified for retirement, the most prominent are general Rafael Sapilinha Sambalanga, Inspector-General of the Ministry of Defense; general Eduardo Martins, advisor to the Minister of Defense; general Fernando Araújo, former head of Weapons Procurement Main Directorate; general Aires Africano, head of Health Services of the General Staff; general António Filomeno Carvalho Pereira, former head of Special Forces of Central Command of Operations. According to the source, who prefers to remain anonymous, the Commander-in-Chief has stated the “ageing” of the officers to be demobilised and the […]

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Journalist Ramiro Aleixo on Trial

Angolan journalist Ramiro Aleixo’s trial is scheduled to start on May 11, 2012, at the Luanda Provincial Court. At issue is an editorial Mr. Aleixo wrote in the newspaper Kesongo, in 2007, about General Miala’s case. Mr. Aleixo, formerly the director and owner of the weekly Kesongo, told Maka Angola that he only found out about the notification to be present in court through a notice published in Jornal de Angola. The journalist has not received any formal notification from the authorities. In September 2007, Mr. Aleixo published an editorial denouncing the mock trial of the former Director of the Exterior Information Services, General Fernando Garcia Miala, and three of his staff members. The defendants were convicted for the crime of insubordination and sentenced to jail. In the editorial, Mr. Aleixo voiced his outrage at what he considered to be a manipulation of the judicial system, conducted by the Angolan […]

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War Veterans Protest in Menongue

Four thousand Angolan war veterans took to the streets of the city of the south-eastern city of Menongue, Kuando-Kubango province, on Saturday, March 31, in protest at delays in the payment of their pensions. The demonstrators eventually received the money owed to them, but only after two were injured in a confrontation with police and firemen. According to Maka Angola’s sources in the city, the veterans of the former liberation army and government defense forces, FAPLA (People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola), marched down Rua 1º de Maio to the local branch of the Banco de Poupança e Crédito in order to demand their pension arrears. The marchers gave no prior notice to the local authorities. The authorities summoned the police who failed to stop the demonstration, and in turn called on the fire brigade to use water to disperse the protesters as they attempted to break into […]

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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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