Circumstances surrounding Rafael Marques and Maka Angola must be taken into account

Article published on June 27, 2015
Article published on June 27, 2015

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Maka Angola’s criticism of the Angolan government and its handling of state finances continues apace with fresh allegations regarding the expenditure of money from the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The website Maka Angola, which has been a long-standing and vocal critic of ruling president José Eduardo dos Santos, claims that 9,948,750 000 kwanzas (which it states was equivalent at the time to US$100 million) was transferred from the sovereign fund to Kijinga S.A.

Kijinga S.A, according to the author of the article and Maka Angola founder Rafael Marques de Morais, is ‘nothing more than a shell company set up as a front for shady transactions by Banco Kwanza Invest (BKI).’

De Morais goes on to claim that Kijinga S.A is a company with no staff, blacked out windows at its headquarters, and a waiting room with space for just one visitor.

Given that the FSDEA was established in 2012 in order to ‘play an important role in promoting Angola’s social and economic development and generating wealth for its people’, this is obviously a serious allegation.

The problem, however, is that Maka Angola is hard to take seriously once someone starts looking more closely at both its and de Morais’ relationship with the Angolan government.

Maka Angola itself has close ties to the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which fought a protracted, bitter and ultimately unsuccessful civil war against dos Santos’ Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party.

The wounds have clearly not healed, as the website routinely carries articles relying rumors about senior officials, often no more than unsubstantiated claims spread by resentful officials and Unita members.

Then take a look at Rafael Marques de Morais himself. He is known to be close to the US authorities, who fund his activities through the notorious National Endowment for Democracy, the organization used by the CIA to incite regime change wherever US interests judge it necessary.

As an oil rich and independent country, Angola would undoubtedly be on the US target list, as well as Russia and Venezuela. For example, always quick to denounce Chinese activities in Angola and Africa, de Morais has mostly ignored US crimes in the continent.

With such a background in mind, aspersions over the reliability of de Morais’ work have to cast. It is only with such questions in mind that de Morais’ articles should be viewed.