In Summary
  • 21 civil society groups say scandal over $2 billion hidden debt a result of fraudulent illegal collusion between Credit Suisse, contractors and Mozambican government officials.
  • When the hidden debt was revealed, Mozambique — which relies on donor aid and is one of the world's poorest countries — was plunged into the worst financial crisis in its history.
  • As national treasury director she signed guarantees in 2013 and 2014 for the loans to three state-owned security companies.

MAPUTO,

Several non-governmental organisations in Mozambique on Saturday called on Credit Suisse to write off debt their government contracted with the Swiss bank as part of a massive "hidden debt" scandal.

In a letter addressed to Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam seen by AFP, 21 civil society groups said the scandal over allegedly illegal loans totalling $2 billion was "a direct result of fraudulent illegal collusion between Credit Suisse, contractors and Mozambican government officials".

The letter was co-signed by Graca Machel, a humanitarian activist and widow of Nelson Mandela.

"Having considered all available information in our possession, we demand that Credit Suisse publicly declares that the Mozambican people should not pay a single cent of these debts, and that recovery of any money should come from the companies and individuals who, instead, have benefited from this chaos," the letter said.

MINISTER SACKED

The call came only days after Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi sacked deputy finance minister Isaltina Lucas who has been implicated in the widening scandal.

As national treasury director she signed guarantees in 2013 and 2014 for the loans to three state-owned security companies.

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