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Picture: 123RF/BELCHONOK
Picture: 123RF/BELCHONOK

1. Trial in a tent

Mozambique’s biggest corruption trial begins this week. Nineteen people, including the son of former president Armando Guebuza, face charges of blackmail, embezzlement and money laundering over a $2bn debt scandal. The affair caused donors, including the International Monetary Fund, to cut funding for the country and its economy collapsed.

The trial is being held in a large tent on the grounds of a maximum-security prison on the outskirts of Maputo, the BBC reports. The city’s courtrooms were deemed too small for the scores of lawyers, 70 witnesses and 250 journalists who have been accredited to attend.

2. Minister extradited

Meanwhile, SA said this week it would extradite former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang to his home country, years after he was arrested in Joburg over his role in the debt scandal. Chang allegedly received millions of dollars in bribes to sign off on loans from Credit Suisse and Russia’s VTB bank to Mozambican government agencies to buy fishing trawlers and military patrol vessels in 2013 and 2014.

The government’s decision to extradite him to Mozambique is in defiance of a separate request for his extradition to the US to face charges for his role in the affair.

3. Counting the caste?

Political parties in India argue in favour of counting caste in the country’s census, with some even suggesting it will be a pro-poor measure. The decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party not to do so has sparked controversy. Hinduism’s hierarchical and oppressive caste system puts Brahmins at the top and Dalits at the bottom, with a multitude of castes in between. India’s census, which happens every 10 years, only records the population of lower classes. Yet caste is a factor in every election, from the village council to the parliament.


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