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Crunch time in London ‘hidden debts’ trial

Will President Nyusi cooperate to allow the trial to go ahead?

President Nyusi at the MMEC conference in Maputo today

Good afternoon. It could be crunch time this week for Mozambique’s ability to sue Credit Suisse and Privinvest in London, as the judge in the case is due to review the latest progress — or lack of — that Mozambique has made in providing documentary evidence.

A trial is set for October this year, to consider the various claims and counterclaims made by the various parties involved in the notorious ‘hidden debts’ deals, which saw Mozambique borrow $2 billion from international banks to pay Lebanese shipbuilding company Privinvest for offshore security hardware and technology.

The trial is currently at risk of not happening, however, due largely to the non-compliance of President Filipe Nyusi in providing evidence about payments made to him, and also evidence from institutions close to the presidency. The Attorney General’s office is trying to satisfy the court’s requests, Zitamar understands, but is powerless to force the President to cooperate.

If Nyusi continues to obstruct the provision of evidence, the trial could fall apart and be cancelled entirely. This is a sensitive time for the President, who is angling for a third term in office. The fact that the CRED commission on district elections refused to play ball on that issue, does not mean it is dead.

If Nyusi wants a third term, he has to ensure his popularity with the country and the party. Derailing the trial into the deal that got Mozambique into the greatest economic crisis of its history, would not be a good look. But perhaps he’s calculating that it would be less damaging than letting the truth get a public airing in court.


  • Today-tomorrow: Mozambique Mining and Energy Conference, in Maputo
  • Today-Friday: Case management hearings in London regarding the Mozambique / Credit Suisse / Privinvest trial due to take place in October
  • Today-tomorrow: Speaker of parliament Esperança Bias visits Russia
  • Today: IMF delegation in Mozambique since Monday to assess government programme on two-week mission

Today’s headlines:

  • Minimum salaries rise by varying amounts
  • Judge proposes trial by teleconference for Manuel Chang
  • Mozambique wants to reactivate car industry with Czech help
  • Authorities summon 11 citizens who participated in a reflection meeting on Mphanda Nkuwa
Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo © Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

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