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ⓘ Manuel Chang was a Mozambican economist and politician of the FRELIMO party. From 2005 to 2015 he served as the Minister of Economy and Finances in President Ar ..




                                     

ⓘ Manuel Chang

Manuel Chang was a Mozambican economist and politician of the FRELIMO party. From 2005 to 2015 he served as the Minister of Economy and Finances in President Armando Guebuzas cabinet. He replaced Luisa Diogo as Finance Minister in February 2005. His work as Finance Minister was intertwined in a debt scandal. In January 2015 when President Filipe Nyusi assumed office he replaced Chang as Finance Minister with Adriano Maleiane.

                                     

1. Debt scandal

Three state-owned Mozambiqiue companies were created to exploit the countys marine resources; Proindicus was to perform coastal surveillance, Ematun was to engage in tuna fishing and MAM was to build and maintain shipyards. Debt problems began in 2013, when the Abu Dhabi-based shipbuilding and offshore construction company, Privinvest, obtained a $366 million contract with Proindicus, financed by IMF loans. The loans for this and other marine projects were requested by State Information and Security Service SISE. As Finance Minister Chang confirmed to Swiss bankers that proceeds from a state loan should be paid to a commercial broker instead of to the Mozambique Central Bank. Chang guaranteed loans, that were illegal under Mozambique law, and kept these loans secret even from other cabinet members. In 2016 a default on Eurobonds issued by the Mozambican government to hide these and other unpaid loans first brought these actions to public attention.

Chang was arrested in December 2018 in South Africa for his part in diverting loan funds, based upon an indictment in the United States. His extradition to the U.S. was delayed when the government of Mozambique also filed a competing request for extradition. However, in February 2020 Mozamique withdrew its request.