Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 17 October 2017.
NB: Zitamar News‘ live event with Dr Roberto Tibana this afternoon will now also be available as a webcast – tickets available here
The latest from Zitamar News:
Mozambique energy minister heads for Japan and China
Leticia Klemens keeps up a strong tradition of Mozambican energy ministers skipping Mozambican energy conferences – preferring instead to spend the week meeting global LNG buyers in Tokyo and China.
Nacala power project expects agreement with government ‘shortly’
The third of the three ‘domestic gas’ projects has yet to sign its MoU with the government, but the company tells Zitamar it is confident it will happen soon.
The best of the rest:
Renouncing ‘hidden debts’ wouldn’t bring IMF on-side (@Verdade)
Senior IMF officials told Mozambican journalist Adérito Caldeira in Washington DC last week that a refusal to honour the ‘hidden debts’ would not be enough to get back in the Fund’s good books. Caldeira, editor of independent online newspaper @Verdade, met IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and other officials at the Fund’s annual meetings last week and reported back that the IMF also resolved to crack down harder on corruption among its members.
There are strong arguments in favour of Mozambique refusing to honour the debts – but if those Mozambicans who signed the deals face no repercussions at home, then Mozambique cannot claim any moral high ground.
Frelimo trying to avoid a Nampula by-election (CanalMoz, STV)
CanalMoz reports today that Frelimo’s Political Commission has decided that it doesn’t want a by-election in Nampula to replace the assassinated Mahamudo Amurane, as the party doesn’t have a candidate in place who could win it – preferring instead to let the MDM head of the municipal assembly take the reins until scheduled elections in October 2018. The minister of state administration, Carmelita Namashulua – also a member of the Political Commission – seemed to accept yesterday that there should, by law, be an election, but said the government was still deciding if “there are material conditions for the ballot to take place.”
This is not how it is supposed to work: if the rules say Nampula should have a by-election, then it should have a by-election – it should not be up to Frelimo to decide whether and when Mozambicans have access to democracy.
Mocímboa to run a census to take stock of local population (Lusa)
The district administration of Mocímboa da Praia is going to collect a census of its population after the attacks of the last 10 days by an armed group, apparently composed of locals and foreigners. The mayor, Fernando Neves, told Lusa the census should start today, Tuesday, and take 30 days, and help increase “vigilance against any invaders.”
The narrative of blaming immigrants for this month’s attacks appears to be gaining ground, but the armed group certainly also has local elements. In the long run, the way to avoid this type of discontentment is to ensure inclusive development around the gas projects – easier said than done, but nonetheless vital.
140,000 pensioners have six weeks to prove they’re still alive (STV, Diario de Mocambique)
140,000 state pensioners – or 164,000, according to the Sofala provincial director of pension scheme INPS – must give their ‘proof of life’ by 24 November to continue receiving their pension. Last year, the government saved 4 billion meticais ($65m) after it stopped paying dead pensioners.
The system tightened up last year as part of the government’s push for austerity – so it is unlikely to make such startling savings this year.
- Today: Zitamar News presents: Mozambique economic and political outlook, with Dr Roberto Tibana
- Today: Renamo marks the 38th anniversary of the death of its first leader, André Matsangaíssa, killed in combat in Gorongosa in 1979 and replaced by Afonso Dhlakama
- Tomorrow: Day 1 of the three-day Mozambique Gas Summit
- Tomorrow: Energy and Natural Resources Minister Leticia Klemens addresses the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference in Tokyo
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