ANGOLA: President discusses corruption with jailed govt critic

Angolan President Joao Lourenco on Wednesday held a private meeting with a jailed former critic of the erstwhile Jose Eduardo dos Santos regime.

Rafael Marques was among a group of civil society and rights activists invited to meet the president on Tuesday but he was blocked from the said meeting by officials.

Lourenco later extended another invitation to Marques to make up for the earlier missed opportunity. After the about 45-minutes encounter, Marques told AFP that the discussions were centered on corruption.

“I think the contribution of society to morality… is important so that corruption is no longer a cancer that eats away at society and saps our resources,” he is quoted as saying.

Marques was charged and convicted of various crimes as a result of his investigative reports on corruption in the José Eduardo dos Santos era.

Dos Santos left the presidency in 2017 ushering in the era of Lourenco who has vowed to root out corruption in the ruling MPLA and in government.

The former Defense Minister has descended hard on the dos Santos “empire” – firing two of his predecessors’ children who held influential positions in the oil rich southern African country.

Jose Filomeno dis Santos – son of the former leader – is currently facing chargesrelating to corruption. Dis Santos and Lourenco have recently exchanged words over the state of public coffers during the handing over of power in 2017.

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