Ver Angola

Defense

PGR files criminal proceedings against newly appointed governor of Cuando Cubango

The criminal case filed against the newly appointed governor of Cuando Cubango province, José Martins, has been dropped, announced the Attorney General's Office.

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According to the statement, which Lusa agency had access to, the criminal proceedings opened when he was then administrator of the municipality of Cuito Cuanavale, was filed on August 13 this year.

The document also emphasizes that the criminal process was initiated based on a complaint, according to which José Martins, now governor of Cuando Cubango, in replacement of Júlio Bessa, who was exonerated last week, "was illegally benefiting from rights and benefits on the grounds of being deficient in war".

"However, once the process was completed, it was found that the aforementioned gentleman fulfilled all the necessary formalities for registration in the category of war disabled, having been admitted in 2006, as provided for in Law No. 13/02, of 15th of October, (Law on Former Combatant and Disability of War) and Decree No. 57/04, of 31st of August, which approves the regulation on the necessary formalities for the census and control of Former Combatant, Disability of War and family of fallen or perished combatant", underlines in the note.

Associação Omunga is one of the voices of civil society questioning the appointment of José Martins last Tuesday, having issued a repudiation note against his appointment as governor of Cuando Cubango.

In the document that Lusa had access to, signed by its executive director, João Manuel, the association highlights the fact that the press has reported that the newly appointed governor is the target of a process, which is being processed by the Attorney General's Office, for appearing on the payroll of the "ghost soldiers" of the leadership of former combatants and war veterans in the province of Cuando Cubango.

According to the non-governmental association, it is unquestionable that the act of appointing and dismissing provincial governors is a constitutional prerogative of the President of the Republic, "however, it is also essential to conform legal-administrative acts with the winds and profuse ideals and repeatedly conveyed by the newly instituted power, that is, putting an end to the feeling of impunity that for many years has made a career" in society.

For Omunga, "there cannot be a gap between discourse and practical reality". "Unfortunately, we see, here and there, situations that insist on challenging and calling into question the truth and nobility of the intentions of the holder of the executive power, as far as the transparency, honesty and integrity of political-administrative decisions is concerned", is crimped on the note.

"Relying on the evidence printed by the aforementioned media, without prejudice to the principle of the presumption of innocence, regarding the involvement of the newly appointed governor of Cuando Cubango, the inauguration of the person concerned is hopelessly inadvisable and imprudent, under penalty of being rowing against the tide", the association also considers.

According to Omunga, "going ahead with the inauguration could constitute a setback for the little that has already been done in terms of combating the feeling of impunity".

"Thus, Omunga encourages the Attorney General's Office to continue with the investigations aimed at clarifying the accusations that weigh on the newly appointed governor of Cuando Cubango, at the same time we ask His Excellency Mr. President of the Republic not to confuse more citizens with appointments or other acts that pinch the national feeling, with regard to the accountability of public managers and beyond", exhorts the association.