Ver Angola


Adalberto da Costa Júnior: if law is applied to government officials “everyone goes to jail”

The president of UNITA defended a new legal model for the State to recover what was “stolen” from Angola, because otherwise, under the current governance, “everyone goes to jail”.


In an interview with Lusa agency, in the city of Praia, Adalberto da Costa Júnior, elected president of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in November 2019, outside the Movement for Democracy (MpD) convention, party in the power in Cape Verde, criticized the way in which the fight against corruption is being conducted by the Government of President João Lourenço (MPLA).

“The model is to protect these gentlemen [MPLA] and that is why our voice is a very moderate voice, I would say a very mature voice, which is that if we apply the law today, everyone will go to jail , which is in governance, because everyone stole it. This is sad to say, but it is true”, said Adalberto da Costa Júnior.

The UNITA leader argues that, supported by legislation on the coercive repatriation of capital illegally withdrawn from the country, the Government of the People's Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA) is in a process of "persecution" and "justice directed" to its previous managers themselves.

“Let's get down to earth, look at the country and find a legal way out, a fair way out, a courageous way out, which eventually leads to the need to approve a new legal model, which shares with the State a part of what has been diverted and boost Angola's strategic reserves in such a way that we don't need the International Monetary Fund for anything”, he said.

Insists that, within the MPLA, “everyone took their benefits, everyone diverted, and in what way, from the State”, but today “there is a movement of not returning to the State at least part of what they stole”, rejecting that the problem of corruption is only the responsibility of José Eduardo dos Santos, President until 2017.

The Provincial Court of Luanda ordered the seizure of bank accounts and holdings by Isabel dos Santos in companies where it is a shareholder, such as Zap, Unitel, Cimentangola, Contidis and the BIC and BFA banks, a decision made public on December 30 and which it also includes her husband, Sindika Dokolo, and Mário Leite Silva, manager of the businesswoman in several companies.

“I know that there are dozens and hundreds of Angolans, billionaires, afraid to return to Angola. With a lot of money there in tax havens, that if Angola gives them the signal that they can sit down with them and find a measure of balance, they can in fact get out of that industrial investment that we don't have”, he added.

For Adalberto da Costa Júnior, who claims to see the opposite scenario in Cape Verde, Angola is experiencing a drama today: “We have a party that took power, did not embrace plural democracy, controls the National Electoral Commission. This is the biggest problem that a political party can have, because all of us, political parties, members of political parties, have a goal, of course. See our parties chosen mostly to be able to govern the countries”.

In the city of Praia to participate in the national MpD convention, party in power since 2016 and partner of UNITA in the International Democratic Center, Adalberto da Costa Júnior argues that Cape Verdean governance, regardless of the parties, is a “model to be followed” in Africa.

“Cape Verde has something extraordinary for us all. It is a benchmark for good governance, it is a benchmark for Government with transparency, a responsible Government and, above all, regardless of whether it is governed by one or the other, none of the parties took power as something personal, as something institutionally limited to openness democratic, ”he pointed out, while praising relations with the MpD, which he describes as UNITA's“ friendly party”.

At the other extreme, it points, once again, to the Angolan reality, which for UNITA is conditioned by the control exercised by the MPLA, and despite the “very positive moment” and “with conditions to make history” which it claims to be experiencing the party of the 'cock black'.

“But, with this electoral system, with what we followed in February, the imposition of a president of the National Electoral Commission, without a profile, a man involved in processes in the PGR [Attorney General's Office], a man with addictions procedure in the contest that elected him, anyway”, he stressed.

And he advanced with “a perception” that worries him a lot: “Seeing the President of the Republic, seeing the National Assembly taking possession of the illegality to manage the elections is an indicator that we, in Angola, are going backwards and instead of consolidating democracy, transparency, good governance, development, trust, inclusive participation, we are doing exactly the opposite movement”.

It goes further in the criticisms to return to point out the consequences of not making a revision of the Constitution, taking into account that the current one, approved in 2010, during the presidency of José Eduardo dos Santos, turns the President of Angola into a “man almost above the law".

“The normal thing would be to think: Well, Mr. President of the Republic, who has a new speech, who has this theoretical opening, then he is not attached to the Dos Santos coat, he is open to reforms, and therefore he is able to offer a a period of hope, which then consolidates the construction of a nation of all. Is not it. João Lourenço is very happy with the ‘Dos Santos coat’. He wore that coat of full powers and does not want revision and, therefore, this is our challenge, it is not easy ”, accused the leader of UNITA.

From Cape Verde, the UNITA leader sees an Angola in which "there are no signs of recovery from the crisis", with a currency, the kwanza, which "has absolutely no value", despite being an "extraordinary country".

“You have all the conditions to turn the page. It needs a good government, which sets an example of savings, committed to courageous reforms. Because we, today, cannot solve Angola's problems if we do not make deep reforms", he concluded.