The former director of the Judiciary Police on the island has been named as a defendant in an investigation carried out by the Judiciary Police itself. Called to testify before magistrates Vital Moeda and António Debestião, the former Judiciary Police director went in as a witness, but left a suspect. Semedo, who led the Judiciary Police on São Vicente for four years, is now at odds with the justice sector in a case that appears to involve drug trafficking, racketeering and money laundering.
In politics, Walter Évora has replaced Aristides Lima in parliament. The young Évora promises to introduce new ways of doing politics in the National Assembly, now that he is occupying the seat of legislator for the Boa Vista electoral circle, left vacant in the wake of Aristides Lima’s exit to become a judge on the Constitutional Court. Lima was elected to the court in the last plenary session of the National Assembly.
But the main highlight in political news are the proposals from the PAICV and the MpD to flesh out participative democracy in Cape Verde and which will be discussed in the plenary session of the National Assembly that begins on Monday: the Citizens’ Direct Legislative Initiative. For some analysts, the initiative is a sign of greater openness on the part of the very close-knit world of political power-brokers, while others say it will allow the model of pluralistic and representative democracy in Cape Verde to take a qualitative leap.
Economic supplement Cifrão reports that Belgian investment group Talboom wants more land to expand its Baía de João d’Évora project. According to an A Semana source, “promoter Jan Talboom will double the investment volume he has on slate for São Vicente. In addition to the 400 guesthouses and 115 houses, he also wants to set up a small hotel unit. Another 200 villas and a large-scale pool-. We’re talking about a project that has taken on grandiose dimensions.”
In other economic news, Cifrão reports that insurance company Impar is about to distribute 100 million escudos in dividends to its shareholders. After the Bank of Cape Verde prohibited the distribution of profits from 2013 because of the crisis, the distribution is major news for those who have invested in the insurance company in a year in which its net results jumped from 111,836,000,000 to 112,307,000,000 escudos.
“Mindelo captures investments for the northern islands” is another highlight. Beginning on May 6, São Vicente will host the “Mindelo Meeting Point” international meeting, the main objective of which is to capture investments for São Vicente, Santo Antão and São Nicolau. Virna Ramos, the regional director for the initiative, foresees the participation of more then 100 Cape Verdean and foreign tourist-sector entrepreneurs.
The complaints coming from more than 100 farmers in the Fajã de Janela region of Santo Antão also merit a headline on the front page. The farmers are waiting to receive drip irrigation equipment promised by the Minister of Rural Development during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a water pumping system in the region more than a year ago. Only 11 of the 135 landowners in the region have so far benefited from the project announced by Rural Development Minister Eva Ortet, which means that most of the plots of land in the area remain dry despite the 300-cubic-meter reservoir overflowing nearby.
Meanwhile, cultural supplement Kriolidadi reports on the release of Festa Fora, the new CD by Ferro Gaita. The album, which is already on sale in digital stores, is the group’s seventh, and contains no surprises in terms of musical genres – the main “investment” continues to be in funaná, batuko and tabanka – but does contain three surprising special guest appearances, by Sara Tavares, Kim Alves and Justino Delgado.
Another headline is the emergence this coming summer of the Mindelo Free Integrated Arts Academy (ALAIM) in Mindelo. João Branco is the mentor of this art school which is being idealized to make up for a lack of space for classes, rehearsals and shows on the island of São Vicente.