domingo, 1 de março de 2015

Will the Swedish $ 40 million really benefit the Mozambicans?

The Swedish government has really reached a new low - not only do they export weapons and in other areas collaborate with the dictatorship Saudi Arabia but they are also prepared to contribute an additional  $ 40 million about 1.3 billion meticias to the Mozambican budget without questioning a government known for corruption, nepotism, harassment of dissidents, abuse of power and resource!

Last years presidential election in Mozambique was marked by widespread cheating and the European Union released a critical report on this.

Recently a Spanish non-governmental organization GRAIN revealed that former President Armando Guebuza, his son Mussumbuluko Guebuza and some well-known Mozambican businessmen such as Salimo Abdula, Jacinto Mutemba and Carlos Simbine are involved in dubious land sales. It has also appeared in many international reports that illegal logging and trafficking of ivory has been conducted with involvement of some Mozambican politicians. The list goes on and on...
The Swedish government always empathises that the aid to Mozambique is a "gift from one people to another" but I doubt that the Swedish people are in favour of aiding such a government or that the Mozambican people will benefit - I think it rather is a gift from a naive Swedish government to a government full of crooks and parasites! To quote Alice Mabota, lawyer and President of the League of Human Rights in Mozambique: "We have no government, however we have businessmen who runs business through the state."

If I was a Swedish taxpayer I would not like to see my money wasted on dubious or even fictitious projects that not even Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has any control over (someting they have been widely criticized for).

One may wonder if only opportunities for Swedish companies to secure lucrative business opportunities dictates the Swedish aid today?

The Swedish aid has made headlines in Mozambique but in Sweden there is no debate - why don't Swedish media questions how it is spent? We have teachers that go without getting paid salary for months, in parts of the country students have to sit on the floor because there are no desks or even getting lessons under a tree because there is no school and hospitals lacking medicine and other equipment. The only thing we can see improving is the salaries and benefits of the politicians who goes up every year...

If Sweden in the eyes of the world wants to present itself as a champion of human rights is not enough to stop cooperation with Saudi Arabia but the government should also, like Norway, Belgian and The Netherlands already have, review its aid policy so that it does not reinforce authoritarian regimes!

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