Poor Mozambicans are being punished for the actions of a greedy elite and a major Swiss/British bank, writes Joseph Hanlon, Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of International Development.
Fewer teachers will be hired this year, leading to even more overcrowded classrooms, and health spending is being cut, as donors reduce aid to Mozambique or shift it away from government in response to $2 billion in illegal secret borrowing organised by the former President Armando Guebuza. But the response raises questions about who is responsible. Is it the tempter, Credit Suisse (CS:USNew York), or is it the greedy group around Guebuza who succumbed to temptation, or is it the people of Mozambique who elected Guebuza as president?
Three key donors have all decided to penalize Mozambique – Britain where the part of Credit Suisse that made the loan is based, Switzerland where the bank has its headquarters, and Norway whose sovereign wealth fund is the second largest shareholder, owning 5.08% of Credit Suisse. Should those countries be compensating Mozambique for the actions of their bank, rather than further punishing Mozambicans?