A whopping $4,119,036.75 used by Angolan president João Loureço as travel budget for the recent UN General Assembly meeting has caused an uproar in his country, APA can report from Luanda on Wednesday.President Lourenco approved the amount on September 8 ahead of his sojourn to the UN for the 76th session of its General Assembly which ended last week.
The amount was earmarked for operating expenses which began with his own preparations to attend the UNGA.
However, the amount involved has caused an uproar in Angola where civil society groups and politicians have directed strong criticism at the “wasteful Mr Lourenco”.
The man who succeeded Jose Eduardo Santos in 2017 is being accused of of insensitivity and mocking the plight of ordinary Angolans.
“Wasting such a huge amount of cash on extravagant splash at the UN while your citizens continue to suffer poverty represents the cruelest of ironies” says one political activists.
Disgruntled opposition UNITA politicians pulled no punches in their criticism of Lourenco describing his “one-week budget” at the UN as simply unfair.
For the opposition President Lourenço’s election vow to tackle corruption “has just gone hollow” given the apparent tendency of his government to “abuse” taxpayers’ money on a sojourn which would have little or no benefit to his destitute population.
Lourenco, 67, had heavily criticised the regime of his predecessor dos Santos over corruption and had promised to do better.
As leader of the ruling MPLA, it is almost certain that he will seek reelection when Angola goes to the polls in 2022.