Ver Angola


Rafael Marques: Angolan judiciary “became an epicenter of corruption”

Journalist and human rights activist Rafael Marques denounced this Tuesday, at a forum in Washington, that the judiciary "has become an epicenter of corruption" in Angola and accused the President, João Lourenço, of politically retaliating against personal enemies.


At the Civil Society Forum, an event part of the United States of America (USA)-Africa Summit, Rafael Marques harshly criticized the "sponsorship and reward" system existing in Angola, "which promotes corruption".

Giving the example of the salary scale and benefits of the Angolan public sector, the journalist indicated that it was "an internal and institutional mechanism for the mass production of thieves from the top down".

Turning attention to the country's judicial system, the director of the blog Maka Angola defended that there is no separation of powers. "Therefore, the judiciary is not independent," he assessed.

"Despite mounting evidence of corruption, the decision as to whether cases will be shelved, stalled or brought to court hearing remains a political decision. The powerful and well-connected continue to enjoy impunity. There is no tangible change, so no there is justice," he advocated.

In his speech at the Civil Society Forum, the activist stated that the Government of João Lourenço finances multimillion-dollar houses and apartments as a bonus for superior court judges and also referred to presidential decree 69/21, which "authorizes the Attorney General's Office and the Courts to divide among themselves 10 percent of all recovered assets - a 'reward' for judicial attachment that amounts to a conflict of interest" and which "defies the constitutional obligation of judicial impartiality".

"Tragically, (...) the Angolan judiciary has become an epicenter of corruption, openly encouraged by the Lourenço administration," said Marques.

The journalist also accused the Angolan president of using the judicial system to carry out political reprisals against his personal enemies, "mainly the relatives and closest associates of his predecessor", José Eduardo dos Santos.

"The uneven application of justice gives every appearance of protection to some of the most notoriously corrupt public officials in exchange for their loyalty," he added.

The activist, who was sentenced to prison for accusations against José Eduardo dos Santos, concluded his speech with a phrase by former US President Barack Obama, said in Ghana in 2009: "Africa does not need strong men , needs strong institutions".

The US-Africa Summit, taking place in the US capital until Thursday, will be attended by dozens of African heads of state, including João Lourenço, who will have an intense agenda, such as "working meetings and audiences with businessmen and senior figures in the US Administration, such as Antony Blinken, Secretary of State", according to official sources.

The summit is expected to revive US relations with the African continent, put on hold by former President Donald Trump, at a time when China and Russia are advancing with their pawns in the region.

This is the second meeting of its kind, after a first edition held in 2014.

In total, 49 African heads of state and the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, were invited to this high-level meeting.

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