Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday appointed former Finance minister Adriano Maleiane, 73, as the new prime minister, a few hours after he removed Agostinho do Rosário from the position.
The president had also a day earlier removed six ministers from their positions without giving reasons for their dismissal.
According to a statement from Presidency, President Nyusi also appointed former minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Ernesto as the minister of Economy and Finance.
Mr Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita was appointed minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources andMs Lídia de Fátima da Graça Cardoso appointed Minister of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries.
President Nyusi also named three newcomers in his government: Amílcar Paia Tivane who will be the deputy minister of Economy and Finance, Carlos Joaquim Zacarias named as minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, and Silvino Augusto José Moreno named minister of Industry and Trade.
According to analysts in Maputo, electoral challenges and the ‘Hidden Debt Scandal’ may have influenced the changes in Cabinet.
Mozambique is scheduled to hold municipal and legislative polls next year, while the presidential vote is slated for 2024.
President Nyusi is currently serving his second and final term in office which ends in 2024 in line with the Constitution.
The 'Hidden Debt Scandal’ involves $2 billion in loans taken by three state-owned companies between 2013 and 2014 that were meant to finance a fishing project. But the debt was hidden from Mozambique’s parliament and the funds largely went into paying kickbacks.
US officials investigating the scandal have accused President Nyusi of receiving kickbacks, and the Mozambique Bar Association wants President Nyusi, who was minister of Defence at the time, to testify in the case.