​Zitamar Daily Briefing, 16 July 2018

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Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 16 July, 2018.

Agenda

  • Today: Attorney General Beatriz Buchili begins a five-day working visit to Sofala province
  • Tomorrow: Would-be Maputo mayor Venancio Mondlane to be officially unveiled as a Renamo member

The latest from Zitamar News:

ExxonMobil sets a date for Mozambique LNG investment decision
Exxon’s Mark Hackney said FID on the multi-billion dollar project should happen in August 2019

Parliament to debate new electoral law in extraordinary session next week
If passed, the legislation will allow municipal elections to go ahead on 10 October 2018

The best of the rest:

  • Frelimo confirms two of its candidates to head its Maputo list
  • Nyusi opens granite processing plan in Chimoio
  • Local businesses reject government messaging on Cabo Delgado crisis
  • João Macaringue replaced by Mamade Valá as ICM head

Frelimo confirms two of its candidates to head its Maputo list (Rádio Moçambique, Notícias)
Frelimo’s first secretary for Maputo, Francisco Mabjaia, confirmed on Saturday that Eneas Comiche and Samora Machel Júnior are two of the party’s three candidates to head its Maputo list in October municipal elections. Mabjaia denied rumours of paralysis in the party’s internal mechanisms, saying that the process for selecting a head of list is in motion.
According to MediaFax, Mabjaia did not clarify who proposed Eneas Comiche as a head of list candidate. Rumour has it that Comiche’s candidacy was “invented” at the eleventh hour by a small group of party insiders, including Mabjaia, without input from the broader party. He would be a smart choice, however – he was a popular mayor in 2003-8 and his ouster in favour of David Simango was greeted with dismay, and seen as a deliberate move to enable corruption in the capital. But while he personally is popular, putting him back in might be seen as an admission of guilt by Frelimo.

Nyusi opens granite processing plan in Chimoio (AIM, Rádio Moçambique)
Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi on Sunday attended an opening ceremony for a new granite processing plant in Chimoio, in Manica province. The plant, owned by the Helin Mining Company, can produce 10,000 cubic meters of granite blocks per year. The blocks will be exported to China, as well as to Taiwan, southeast Asia, and Europe.
In Mozambique, Helin is investing $30 million in exploring for granite in Manica province (brown granite in Sussundenga district) and Tete province (black granite in Moatize district). The company also plans to build a marble processing plant.

Local businesses reject government messaging on Cabo Delgado crisis (CanalMoz)
Responding to Cabo Delgado governor Júlio Parruque’s claim that attacks in Cabo Delgado are having no effect on investment, provincial business council president Gulamo Abobakar said that the attacks are driving down investment in the affected districts, causing some companies to close their doors. Abobakar declined to provide statistics or names of companies that have closed to back up his claim, but assured reporters that the situation is deteriorating.
Local businesses in Palma have reported trouble retaining employees, many of whom are scared to travel to work and to leave their families and crops unguarded.

João Macaringue replaced by Mamade Valá as ICM head (Savana)
Agronomist Mamade Valá has been named director-general of Mozambique’s Cereals Institute (ICM), replacing João Macaringue, who ran the institute for 16 years. No reason was given for the switch, but there are reports of a rift between Macaringue and Industry and Commerce minister Ragendra de Sousa, who objected to ICM’s failure to mediate effectively between grain producers and traders.
There is certainly room for the ICM to up its game following the pigeon pea debacle, in which small farmers were encouraged by the government to grow pigeon pea as a lucrative export to India, only to find that, by harvest time, India had no need for the crop.

© 2018, Zitamar LTD. All rights reserved.

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