Army chief sacked in latest anti-graft move in Angola


LUANDA: Angolan President Joao Lourenco on Monday sacked his army chief of staff over corruption allegations in a deepening purge of senior figures linked with graft.

The president has vowed to tackle systemic corruption since he succeeded Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who had ruled Angola for 38 years, in September. Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda was fired after being named by the attorney-general’s office in an investigation into a fraudulent international credit scheme worth $50 billion.

In a presidential statement, Lourenco named Antonio Egidio de Sousa Santos as the new army chief. During the country’s oil boom, then-president dos Santos was accused of corruption and enriching a small elite, including his own family, while millions of Angolans remained in dire poverty.

Lourenco, a veteran of the ruling MPLA party and previously a loyal minister under dos Santos, has surprised many by acting against the state corruption and nepotism since taking over. Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the son of the former president, has been charged after allegedly siphoning off $1.5 billion when he ran the oil-rich country’s sovereign wealth fund until he was sacked in January.