Angolan state spends 1.5 million euros per month with 'sobas'

Angolan state spends 1.5 million euros per month with 'sobas'

A new law will verify those who are really traditional chiefs. Angola spends 9,6 billion kwanzas (18 million euros) annually on subsidies to 40,075 traditional authorities.

According to the leader of the parliamentary group of the People's Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA), Américo Kuononoca, a traditional authority only exists when assumptions such as "having a community to govern" and "to be enthroned according to traditional principles" are fulfilled.

"A royal lineage must exist and this law will allow for a record of the traditional authorities who deserve this dignity," Kuononoca said. "This law is very important, we have already been discussing this issue and finally it is in the National Assembly for us to approve," he said.

Angola spends 9,6 billion kwanzas (18 million euros) annually on subsidies to 40,075 traditional authorities, said Rosa Melo - the national director of Angola's Communities and Traditional Power Institutions -, to Lusa recently.

"The state spends about 800 million kwanzas (1.5 million euros) per month on subsidies to sobas (traditional authorities) and this amount is too big, hence the need to regulate the activity," he said.

The draft law establishes the principles and rules regarding the attributions, competences, organization, control regime, responsibility and assets of these institutions and their relationship with the Angolan State bodies.

Regarding the actual number of traditional authorities scattered across Angola, Rosa Melo admitted that the authorities are overseeing the data.

The draft law also includes aspects about dressing, enthronement, subsidies, the establishment of traditional power associations and it regulates the process of recognizing new authorities in accordance with the customary norms of traditional institutions.

The recognition by the State of new traditional authorities or the certification of the status of Traditional Authority, she adds, is granted upon the prior opinion of the national collegiate body of authorities to be set up as a public association.

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