Angola: UNITA accuses ruling party of extraordinary election spending

Angolan opposition party UNITA on Tuesday accused the ruling MPLA of running a “billionaire” election campaign, where it “spends money in an inordinate way”, and called for an investigation by the judicial bodies.

“We are not the ones with huge amounts of money to spend on the election campaign. On the contrary, public opinion knows that the party in power is the one running a billion-dollar campaign, full of propaganda, through various vehicles, spending rivers of money,” said the director-general of UNITA’s electoral campaign Lukamba Paulo “Gato”.

The politician from the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the largest opposition party, who was speaking at a press conference in Luanda, said that the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) and its candidate are spending money “all over the place”.

“In fact, this unlimited spending on campaign should arouse the interest of the state inspection bodies to constitute the representative of João Lourenço’s candidacy and his supporters to present accounts of the campaign, incorporating all costs and justify their provenance,” he argued.

UNITA, which was debating the three-week electoral campaign ahead of the 24 August election, once again denied that it was being financed by “marimbondos” (a kind of wasp that has become synonymous with corrupt people).

The president of Angola and MPLA candidate for the elections, João Lourenço, last week reaffirmed the fight against corruption and accused UNITA of colluding with corrupt people.

“Angola is effectively fighting corruption,” João Lourenço said at a rally in Malanje, considering it “ironic” that some of his competitors say that the MPLA “is doing nothing”.

“What is ironic is that those who defend that point of view have made a pact with the corrupt, they are eating from the plate of corruption, they are being financed by the money that came out of Angola through the door of corruption, those are their real financiers,” Lourenço stressed, insinuating that the UNITA president’s candidacy is being financed by people targeted by the Angolan justice system.

“We don’t have to be surprised in terms of alliances, this opposition has had worse alliances than these. Whoever allied themselves to ‘apartheid’ no wonder they ally themselves with those who emptied the state coffers and took those resources to other economies, whoever allies themselves with ‘apartheid’ [South Africa supported UNITA in the civil war, while the MPLA was supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba] easily allies themselves with the corrupt who fled Angola accused of corruption,” he pointed out.

Lukamba Paulo dismissed the accusations as a “campaign aimed at stopping the large and growing movement of support for Adalberto Costa Júnior and UNITA.

“Even because, it is visible that our campaign has been struggling with scarce resources, to the point of not having used expensive means and vehicles, making the dissemination of its electoral message through conferences, marches, rallies and airtime,” he argued.

UNITA’s Director-General of the electoral campaign also spoke of “several irregularities” in the electoral process, namely the inclusion of dead citizens in the voters’ list, the displacement of voters and the non-dissemination of voters’ lists and the lack of voter registers.

Eight political groupings are running, which are currently campaigning in all 18 provinces, for the fifth general elections in Angola’s history, scheduled for 24 August,