Angolan Kleptocracy Discussed at the European Parliament

Kleptocracy in Angola and the management of its natural resources were discussed today, October 3, at the European Parliament in Brussels. The director of Maka Angola, Rafael Marques de Morais, delivered the talk. The full text of the presentation is available here. The presentation was delivered at the conference “Raw Materials: A Raw Deal for Developing Countries?”, an initiative of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. In the same panel, the executive secretary general of the European External Action of the European Commission, Pierre Vimont, presented the common perspective of the European Union. The Portuguese Member of the European Parliament, Ana Gomes, moderated the debate.

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Prison Guards at the Private Service of the Interior Minister

The Angolan minister of Home Affairs, Ângelo Tavares de Barros Veiga, has been keeping 15 prison guards on his private service, distributed among three of his homes. An investigation by Maka Angola has discovered that the guards belong to Viana Prison in Luanda. The prison has about 105 permanent guards, of which less than 80 are used daily on a rotational basis. Viana Prison houses more than 3.500 inmates, but has a capacity for only 1.700. On June 25, 15 prisoners escaped from Viana Prison with relative ease. Although this event exposed the security flaws of the main jail in the country, senior police officials have continued to poach guards from Viana Prison as free labor for their private homes. The Secretary of State for Correctional Services, José Bamóquina Zau, continues to retain five prison guards on his private service. Meanwhile, the National Director of Correctional Services, Commissioner Domingos Ferreira […]

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Margoso: Urban Development for the Rich, Eviction for the Poor

José Agostinho Quiteque, 31, represents his family’s third generation to be born in the neighbourhood of Margoso, in the Maianga district of Luanda. Nestled on the hillside between the neighbourhoods of Prenda and Bairro Azul, and Avenida Revolução de Outubro, Margoso is to be demolished to make way for a new housing development for the wealthy. The Quiteque family has lived in the area for more than fifty years. Family patriarch Agostinho Quiteque, born in Kwanza Sul, saw the birth of his first child in Margoso in the wooden house that he built on the site now occupied by Prenda Clinic. The colonial authorities granted him another site a little lower down the hill where he built a permanent house of bricks and mortar in which he lived until he died four months ago at the age of 81. All four of his children were born in Margoso, and when […]

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Jimmy Mubenga’s Death

By Lara Pawson   An Angolan man was unlawfully killed while being deported from Britain to Angola on October 12, 2010, a jury in London has found yesterday. The jury said that 46 year-old Jimmy Kelenda Mubenga suffered a cardio-respiratory collapse as a result of restraint by three G4S security guards on board a British Airways aircraft at Heathrow airport. In their verdict, which took four days of deliberations, the jury found that, “Mr Mubenga was pushed or held down by one or more of the guards causing his breathing to be impeded. We find they were using unreasonable force and acting in an unlawful manner. The fact that Mr Mubenga was pushed or held down, or a combination of the two, was a significant, that is more than minimal, cause of death.” “We believe the guards would have known that their actions would have caused Mr Mubenga harm if […]

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Political Kidnappings in Angola

A group of former presidential guards had planned to march towards the presidential palace, on May 27, in protest against the social and economic conditions in which they were living. The date is filled with symbolism. In 1977, a march towards the presidential palace was used to justify the massacre of tens of thousands of people by the late president Agostinho Neto and his supporters, as a purported measure against a coup attempt. The tragedy of May 27 is still an open wound in Angolan society and a traumatizing event for many families who never recovered the bodies of their loved ones or knew what happen to them. The protest of last week did not materialize as the Military Bureau of the Presidency (Casa Militar) and the Presidencial Guard Unit (UGP) met with the leaders to address their concerns. But, on the same day, a local FM broadcaster, Radio Despertar, […]

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Deloitte Angola: Auditing and Conflict of Interest

Elections in Angola are only three months away. More attention needs to be given to how they will be carried out, if the processes of voting and counting are to respect the will of the people. In order for citizens to be better informed, the electoral process deserves a deeper and more independent discussion, one which goes beyond official statements and the claims of the opposition. The most recent and significant event in the run-up to elections has to do with the Territorial Administration Ministry’s (MAT) handing over of the Electoral Register Central Database (FICRE) to the National Electoral Commission (CNE) on 15 May. FICRE contains the details of more than 9.7 million voters. According to the Law on General Elections, the transfer of custody and management of FICRE, which contains all the data related to the electoral process, “is preceded by an audit to be performed by an independent […]

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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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Understanding President Dos Santos Rule and the Gaming of His Succession

The past year witnessed a critical shift in Angolan politics with regular youth-led public protests calling for the President’s resignation. Two factors made the outcry for Dos Santos to step down the main challenge to both the conventional political discourse and public perceptions of power: the 2010 Constitution and the popular uprisings in North Africa. This paper provides a brief narrative of the power struggles between the President and his own party, since the establishment of a multiparty system in 1991. It addresses the deployment of constitutional coups, patronage and legal measures to address such internal rifts, as well as the consequences that reverberate today. The Opportunity The 2008 legislative elections offered President Dos Santos the most legitimate, ambitious and unique opportunity to extend his grip on power, as well as to reform the state and its political economy. His ruling party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola […]

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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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When Corruption in Angola is Easier Than in Nigeria

It is an honor for me to be here. I thank Ambassador Lyman and the Council on Foreign Relations for the opportunity to address you this morning. During our civil wars, the government of Angola consistently pointed to corruption as the second major destructive force in the country after the civil war.  Ironically, in times of peace, corruption has become the most defining issue in governing the nation.  It is a common part of business and government relationships. It has taken root throughout our social fabric. It is so pervasive that by the end of 2009 President José Eduardo dos Santos declared a zero tolerance policy against the scourge – a sinister attempt to deflect attention to the problem and to appease his detractors. Since October last year, I set up a website [www.makaangola.org] to monitor corruption in government in the context of the country’s legal framework, and in order […]

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