Luanda (AFP) Prominent Angolan human rights activist and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais appeared in court Monday on charges of insulting a public authority after questioning the integrity of a former attorney general. The charges relate to a story Marques, 46, wrote in 2016 about the country’s former attorney general’s purchase of rural land designated for urban development. Marques, who runs the news website Maka Angola, and Mariano Bras, another journalist who reproduced the article, face up to three years in jail. Marques’s lawyer Horacio Junjuvili sought to have theRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola saw its first authorised anti-government protest in decades with about 10 people demonstrating Saturday in the capital against an amnesty those who have stashed vast wealth abroad. Despite the paltry turnout, the rally in the centre of Luanda was a milestone and hugely symbolic. Such an event would have been unthinkable during the regime of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos who ruled the oil-rich country with an iron fist for 38 years until he stepped down late last year. Some of the demonstrators held up portraitsRead More
Luanda (AFP) Former Angolan leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos said Friday he will quit as head of the governing party by 2019 after the ruling MPLA denied tensions with his successor, President Joao Lourenco. Dos Santos ceded the presidency to his former defence minister Lourenco following the ruling MPLA’s victory in August elections but held on to the party’s top job. The 75-year-old veteran leader who ruled for nearly four decades is battling ill health and said that he would retire from politics entirely by April 2019 at the latest.Read More
Luanda (AFP) Heavy rains, filthy conditions, medicine shortages and endemic corruption have combined to make a lethal malarial cocktail for Angola. Since the start of the year more than 300,000 cases of the disease have been reported across the country, leading to at least a thousand deaths. The toll, say experts, is a clear sign of the poverty and failings of governance in a country which, paradoxically, is one of Africa’s top oil producers. “The number is frightening,” said Jose Antonio, the director of public health in Kilamba Kiaxi, aRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angolan prosecutors opened an investigation on Friday into possible corruption at the country’s state oil giant when it was run by former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ daughter Isabel. Investigators will probe “irregular financial transfers” reported by Sonangol’s new management, prosecutors said in a statement. Sonangol’s new chief executive Carlos Saturnino angrily criticised the financial management of his predecessor Isabel during a results briefing on Wednesday. “We started in our roles on November 16, 2017, and tonight we note that the former finance director ordered the transfer ofRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angolan President Joao Lourenco was elected five months ago promising an “economic miracle”. But the path to transforming the oil-dependent country’s economy will be long and difficult — as was highlighted by anger over the de facto de-valuation of the local currency. Since January, new central bank governor Jose de Lima Massano has been presiding over something of a fiscal revolution, weaning the local kwanza currency off its artificial peg to the dollar, and phasing in a floating exchange rate. The local unit has been fixed at aRead More
Luanda (AFP) The first major scalp claimed by Angola’s new president Joao Lourenco in his war on corruption and nepotism was that of his predecessor’s daughter, who was sacked as head of the state oil company. The next big name linked to former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos was that of his son, Jose Filomeno, who was removed from his post at the top of the African nation’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund. Quick work for a president with barely 100 days on the job. Lourenco’s manoeuvering against the nepotisticalRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angolan President Joao Lourenco removed the son of his predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos from the top job at the oil-rich country’s sovereign wealth fund, the presidency said on Wednesday. Jose Filomeno dos Santos, who was implicated in the “Panama Papers” offshore scandal, will be replaced by former finance minister Carlos Alberto Lopes. Last year’s “Panama Papers” revelations showed how the world’s wealthy used a discreet Panamanian legal firm to stash assets offshore. The investment fund under Dos Santos Jr’s control has been shown to have transferred tensRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola has suffered a week of fuel shortages, a bitter irony for one of Africa’s leading oil producers, and a hardship that some people blame on opponents of President Joao Lourenco. The majority of petrol stations in the capital Luanda have had long lines of motorists for seven days now, all waiting for the chance to fill up their tanks. “We don’t have any more,” said Henriques Carvalho, a pump attendant in the Bairro Popular district. “They came here to refuel but demand has been so great thatRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola is to allow a fourth mobile operator to enter its profitable telecommunications sector in a move which could impact business interests linked to former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos. “The government is to issue a tender for a fourth telecoms operator which will include land line, mobile and television subscriptions,” said Telecoms Minister Jose Carvalho da Rocha. “We are increasing competition to improve the service, and will work on pricing and quality of service,” he told reporters. The mobile phone sector is currently shared between two privateRead More