Porto Novo: “There is not and will not be any corruption scheme in the city council” – mayor

Porto Novo: “There is not and will not be any corruption scheme in the city council” – mayor
Porto Novo: “There is not and will not be any corruption scheme in the city council” – mayor

Africa-Press – Cape verde. The mayor of Porto Novo, Aníbal Fonseca, said this Tuesday that “there is not and will not be any corruption scheme or misuse of municipal resources in the Porto Novo City Council”.

The president of the Porto Novo City Council called on the press to address the allegations made last week by the Regional Political Committee of the PAICV (opposition) in Santo Antão that there is “a corruption scheme” in the Porto Novo municipality involving councilor Maísa Pinto and “other leaders” of the city council.

According to Aníbal Fonseca, the “consideration of the existence” of the corruption scheme also involving the president of the city council is “false, fallacious, serious, irresponsible and frivolous”, and the president of the Regional Political Commission of the African Independence Party of Cape Verde ( PAICV), author of the complaints, “responsible for its consequences”.

“Within its operating framework and organization there is not and will not be any scheme of corruption or misuse of municipal resources in the municipal council, so the consideration of its existence by the PAICV is false, fallacious, serious, irresponsible and frivolous, of that its author must answer for its consequences”, noted the mayor.

According to Aníbal Fonseca, the Porto Novo City Council “repudiates” the accusations of a corruption scheme that aim to involve councilor Maísa Pinto, other mayors and condemns them “as an electoral expedient and political throwing weapon of the PAICV and its unsupported leader ”.

The PAICV in Santo Antão, he said, intends “in this way to find an alternative to easily achieve the exercise of power in the municipality, as it is certain that, due to electoral democratic legitimacy, it cannot achieve this objective that it has established as the reason for life and its existence ”.

However, the mayor acknowledged that “within the scope of good faith” to which the city council is bound for its “smooth functioning”, “some procedures considered necessary and convenient” were undertaken, namely the creation of a joint bank account where one of the subscribers is councilor Maísa Pinto.

“The account is intended exclusively to restrict bureaucratic procedures in the management and administration of the ‘O Ninho’ kindergarten.”, he explained, adding that “all the resources” of this garden, “including those of the account opened in 2019”, were always subject to to the “control, evaluation, inspection mechanisms” by the financial services” of the municipality.

The mayor said he was waiting “serenely” for the independent external audit that PAICV said it had requested and for the financial inspection, also required, “to restore the truth and facts” not just “about the legal regularity of the use of Jardim’s resources “O Ninho”, as well as other resources, attributed to misuse” by Maísa Pinto.

“Until this happens and given the seriousness of the complaints that must be confronted with elements that prove, with due speed, their unsustainability, the city council decided to launch an internal audit, covering all the resources of the “O Ninho” garden. who have entered the aforementioned account, their movements and the framework of their allocation, covering the period from 2018, the date of its municipalization, to 2024”, he added.

The report produced following the internal audit will then be made public, promised Aníbal Fonseca.

The mayor also denied that, “contrary” to what the PAICV said, he had triggered a “witch hunt”, although, he admitted, that “this previous accusation” does not prevent the city council “as an institution of good” from ordering an investigation into “investigate, in the name of the local public interest, all complaints and identify the author who, in bad faith, made documents and information available or revealed to the opposition and the media”.

In addition to being illegal, the mayor argued, the author violated “professional ethics and deontology and also the duty of professional secrecy”.

“Both the mayor of the city council and councilor Maísa Pinto are aware of the commitments made to carry out their duties and are available to assume their responsibilities, aware that they have never participated in corruption schemes and that they will know how to draw the necessary lessons from the investigation, internal and external audits that may be carried out to establish the truth and facts”, concluded Aníbal Fonseca.

For the mayor, the “serious allegations” of the PAICV and its regional leader “do not impede or restrict the democratic legitimacy” of the city council and its entire council “to continue governing the municipality of Porto Novo”.

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