MAPUTO, March 25 Mozambique has extended until
April 28 an investigation into government-owned firms that hid
$2 billion in loans, state media said on Saturday.
The Mozambican Attorney-General's Office PGR said it
proposed the latest extension to allow collecting of data from
banks and other institutions in Mozambique and abroad, state
Debt-ridden Mozambique, one of the world's poorest
countries, is struggling to repay the loans which were not
approved by parliament or disclosed publicly.
In November, Mozambique's attorney general appointed
multinational risk management firm Kroll to probe state firms
that hid the loans from government and international creditors,
a condition for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resume
aid talks with the war-scarred nation.
The IMF said this week it hoped the audit would conclude in
the next couple of weeks and that the government would publish
State media initially said Kroll was given until the end of
February to deliver the audit report. That deadline was extended
to the end of March and has now been pushed to April 28.
The discovery of the loans, received by state firms
including Mozambique's state-owned fishing company EMATUM,
prompted the IMF to halt a loan last April and led to the
collapse of its currency as well as investor confidence.
Until recently one of Africa's strongest prospects,
Mozambique now faces its biggest economic crisis since a 16-year
civil war ended in 1992.
(Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Julia Glover)