Mozambique president gives Benz back
01 October 2014, 09:17
Maputo - Mozambique's president has returned a luxury Mercedes-Benz given to him by a business association, admitting on Tuesday that the gift was a violation of the country's public probity laws.
Following public outrage at news that Armando Guebuza had received the keys to a $100 000 luxury sedan at a swanky gala dinner last week, his office told AFP the car had been returned.
"After having accepted the gift on this occasion, the head of state asked for the legality of the act to be verified," a statement said.
After being told he could run afoul of the law, Guebuza "declined it and gave the car back".
The Confederation of Business Associations said that by giving Guebuza the Mercedes S350 wrapped in a red ribbon it had meant only to "give him something to remember us by".
Guebuza, 71, is set to step down after elections in October, having served two terms allowed by the constitution.
Critics have long accused him of using his position to amass a large business portfolio, with interests ranging from telecoms, ports, fisheries, construction and the media.
Guebuza came to power in 2004 vowing to "combat poverty" yet roughly half of Mozambique's population still lives on less than $1 a day.
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