- Diplomacy - Crime - Drugs - Governance
Mozambique’s presidents stuffing Africa with drugs
Mozambique President Armando Guebuza and past leader Joaquim Chissano have been fingered as chief culprits in shielding drug barons in the southern African nation, which is fast becoming a major narcotics transit point in Africa.
The accusations were made by the US embassy in Maputo, revealed the controversial WikiLeaks website.
Between 2009 and early 2010, reports claim that INSITEC, a firm where Guebuza holds major shares, and the ruling party FRELIMO are linked to drug trading.
The Maputo embassy agrees that Mozambique, after Guinea-Bissau, is the second largest narcotics transit point in Africa, following Armando Guebuza’s sanctioning of the entry of free drugs into Mozambique from South Asia.
According to the US embassy’s leaked cables, a local businessman Mohamed Bashir Suleiman, said to be a top drug trader in Mozambique, is close to past leader Joaquim Chissano.
Wikileaks writes: "In the licit economy, the ruling party, FRELIMO, and MBS work in tandem to control the legal and illegal economies and restrict the space for private sector growth by demanding a cut of all significant business transactions.
"In the illicit economy, MBS dominates money laundering and drug transhipment, providing kickbacks to FRELIMO."
Based on the leaks, Ghulam Moti is another protected dealer whose route is located in the Nampula province of Northern Mozambique.
In the south, the primary route for cocaine is by air to Maputo from Brazil.
Drugs from the country mostly are smuggled overland to South Africa for local South African consumption or onward to Europe.
Reports say US embassy staff had addressed their concerns about the growing narco-traffic in Mozambique with officials at all levels.
But junior officials wanting to address the problem said they were confronted with corruption at high levels.