General Zé Maria’s Spring Clean

Although at 74 he is well over retirement age (65) and was expected to be forcibly retired this month, General António José Maria – the Angolan President’s most faithful servant for nearly 40 years – is being allowed to remain at the head of the Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISM) until the elections at which President José Eduardo dos Santos will step down. His subordinates, who were expecting him to have left already, are increasingly unable to contain their frustration at his unorthodox leadership style, frequently marked by personal quirks which they say are unbecoming in a senior officer. General Zé Maria’s latest ‘wheeze’ was to demand that all civilian employees engaged in courses of study must produce their certificates and course marks for inspection by February 27 so he may personally evaluate their grades. Some 50 civilian employees are affected and any employee with failing grades is expected […]

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