Angola – UNITA leader comes clean on assets in a world of murky money matters

Maka Angola – By Rob Pires

It all began with a photograph, published on facebook, of a house in a drab London suburb. A well-known pro-government social media activist, who goes by the name of ManDavid, claimed that it belonged to the UNITA leader,

Isaias Samakuva

. The UNITA leader, went the argument, was not poor. Several locations picked up on 192.com, a website that gives London addresses, were connected to people with the Samakuva surname. The activist claimed that the UNITA leader had bought all these London properties with party funds.

 

The UNITA leader’s response was swift. He claimed that he was not “farinha do mesmo saco” (“flower from the same bag”) as his opponents in the ruling party. There have been well-documented allegations of corruption against several members of the ruling party.

Samakuva claimed that he was going to declare all his possessions before June 19. True to his word, the UNITA leader published a list his assets, which add up to slightly under US $400 thousand. Many ordinary people lauded his gesture and wondered who would follow this initiative.

But not all were impressed by Samakuva’s openness. Some noted that assets could easily be hidden under close relative names. They called on all of Samakuva’s close relatives to reveal their worldly possessions. They do, indeed, have a point. In the eighties and early nineties, Samakuva was UNITA’s principal London-based treasurer. He would certainly not have many difficulties in stashing aways millions. In any case, many thought this was a positive move towards creating a culture of transparency.  Read more…

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