Assembly Commission Of Inquiry Begins Work ON 9 January
Maputo, 29 Dec (AIM) – The Commission of Inquiry set up by the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, to investigate allegations that one of its deputies is a drug trafficker will begin its work on 9 January.
The allegation was made in the Assembly plenary, on 1 December, by Venancio Mondlane,the rapporteur of the parliamentary group of the main opposition party, Renamo. But Mondlane did not name the deputy he suspected. He did, however, claim that the illicit drugs had entered the country via the port of Macuse, in the central province of Zambezia. He also alleged that the trafficker is a member of the Assembly’s governing board, its Standing Commission.
The chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry, Antonio Niquice, who is a deputy from the ruling Frelimo Party, on Wednesday assured journalists that the Commission will ascertain whether there is any truth in the accusations made by Mondlane.
If the accusations are confirmed, he said, “the deputy will have to answer before the law, and will be held responsible for his acts”. Niquice was speaking after the first meeting of the Commission of Inquiry, which drew up and approved its plan of activities.
Niquice said that, although the name of the suspect has not been mentioned, the situation is causing great discomfort among the parliamentarians, because it calls into question the honour and good name of the Assembly.
He warned that, if the accusations prove groundless, then measures should be taken against the person who made them (i.e. Mondlane).
During its investigations, the Commission will visit the port of Macuse. It will also be in close contact with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and with the National Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic).
The Commission of Inquiry has seven members – four from Frelimo, two from Renamo and one from the third force represented in the Assembly, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM).
It should deliver its final report to the Standing Commission by 2 February, which in turn will submit it for consideration by the Plenary in the second half of February.