Human rights activist, Rafael Marques, has accused the president of acting unconstitutionally after appointing his daughter, Isabel dos Santos, as the Head of the state energy firm, Sonangol. Marques has filed three requests with Angola’s Attorney General in efforts to withdraw the assignment of dos Santos, reported Reuters.
“With matters of natural strategic resources, the president cannot change the rules as he pleases. He must seek a request from the parliament. He did not do that and, therefore, the reforms on Sonangol are unconstitutional,” Marques said.
“The appointments as a consequence of these reforms that are underway, are also unconstitutional because they are illegal. The president uses his decrees, his powers to award state contracts to his families,” he added, according to The Guardian.
Earlier in June, a group of lawyers led by David Mendes and Luis Nascimento challenged the manner of her appointment, saying it went against public probity laws. The lawyers also presented their concerns to the Supreme Court.
Similarly, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) spokesman, Alcides Sakala, has previously criticized Isabel’s appointment calling it another demonstration of favoritism and graft perpetuated by the ruling Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).
Angola, currently Africa’s top oil producer as Nigeria suffers from supply outages caused by militant attacks, was reported to have planned restructuring Sonangol to increase its efficiency and profitability. In an interview with Reuters, Isabel dos Santos, pledged to bring openness and efficiency to the 40-year-old company that is frequently criticized as being nontransparent and impractical.