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SAM

Published:
2018-03-11 15:17:57 BdST

Mauritian president to quit over credit card scandal


FT ONLINE

Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Africa’s only female head of state, is to step down over a financial scandal.

She has been accused of using a credit card issued by an international non-governmental organisation to buy clothes and jewellery.

The prime minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth said on Friday that Gurib-Fakim would resign after March 12, after the celebration of the country’s 50th anniversary.

He did not comment on the row over credit card expenditure but he has previously said everyone should shoulder their responsibility, when asked about the issue by reporters.

Gurib-Fakim, a chemistry professor, was appointed to the largely ceremonial post in 2015, has denied any wrongdoing and said she had refunded all the money in question.

“I do not owe anything to anybody. Why is this issue coming up now almost a year later on the eve of our independence day celebrations,” she said in a March 7 speech.

The Mauritian daily L'Express published bank documents purporting to show Gurib-Fakim had used a credit card given to her by the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) in London to buy thousands of dollars worth of clothes, jewellery and other personal items.

The card was given to her as part of her work as an unpaid director for the charity.

One of the organisation’s directors is Angolan businessman Alvaro Sobrinho who, the paper says, secured a permit to found an investment bank in Mauritius, prompting allegations of favouritism.

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