​Zitamar Daily Briefing, 20 June 2018

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Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 20 June, 2018.

Agenda

  • Today: MozamReal real estate conference takes place in Maputo

The latest from Zitamar News:

COMMENT: The Islamic side of the Cabo Delgado crisis
The Islamic side of the crisis has been downplayed by various pundits and Mozambican officials – but what role is religion playing in the conflict?

Mozambique FDI continues downward trend into 2018
FDI into Mozambique fell 38% in Q1 year-on-year, continuing a trend which saw FDI fall more than a quarter from 2016 to 2017

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The best of the rest:

  • Protesters allege police torture after landfill protest
  • Head-of-list decisions near for major parties
  • Daviz Simango says he does not want to be a candidate for president
  • Nyusi wants Renamo demilitarization completed by October elections
  • 13 Ethiopians die in road accident
  • Police: No sign of armed gangs in Nampula

Protesters allege police torture after Maputo landfill protest (O País)
Police arrested more than 50 protesters who had erected barricades on the Matlemele section of the Maputo ring road at Matola on Monday. The protesters, local residents, sought clarification of the resettlement process they will enter into when plans to turn Matlemele into a landfill go into effect. The protesters were held overnight, and after their release told O País that they had been tortured in detention to the point that one had to be taken to a hospital.
Though President Nyusi reversed himself and gave in to protesting residents of Chihango, in Maputo, demanding a pedestrian footbridge over a dangerous intersection, his warning to them and others that protests would be met with government retribution seems to be the more accurate reflection of the state’s response to protest.

Head-of-list decisions near for major parties (AIM, O País)
Frelimo party candidates to head lists in 10 October municipal elections should be announced in the first half of July, Frelimo parliamentary leader Margarida Talapa said yesterday. MDM, for its part, said on Monday that it has chosen heads-of-list in 52 of the country’s 53 municipalities holding elections. The exception is Maputo City, where the party faces an awkward situation in which its preferred candidate, Venâncio Mondlane, announced in an interview with Zitamar News that he will not accept the party’s nomination. Mondlane has not yet announced with which party he will enter the race, but it is widely speculated that he will join Renamo, a rumor the party neither confirmed nor denied.
Renamo has said it will announce its heads of lists on 30 June – coincidentally (or not) the day Mondlane told Zitamar he would make his intentions clear. The exact format for the elections is still being discussed in parliament, but Joseph Hanlon / CIP reported yesterday that the names of the head candidates will not appear on the ballot paper – a move which “lowers [mayoral candidates’]status and makes it harder for them to campaign as individuals, also increasing the power of national parties.”

Daviz Simango says he does not want to run for president (VoA)
MDM party leader Daviz Simango, who will stand for re-election in October as mayor of Beira, Mozambique’s fourth-largest city and capital of Sofala province, said in an interview that he has no interest in running for Mozambique’s presidency in 2019 national elections. Simango removing himself from the running is a shift for MDM, which endorsed him as its once and future presidential candidate during the party’s second congress in December 2017.
Zitamar understands Simango had agreed to step aside for Afonso Dhlakama in the 2019 elections, on the understanding that he would be made Prime Minister if Dhlakama won the presidency – an agreement which was never formalised, and has been made obsolete by Dhlakama’s death. Simango has also claimed he didn’t want to run again in Beira, but had his arm twisted by the party – so perhaps the same will happen for the Presidentials next year. If he’s serious about standing aside, it would be a revolution for the Simango-dominated MDM – unless his replacement is his brother, Lutero.

Nyusi wants Renamo demilitarization completed by October elections (AIM, O País)
Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi said yesterday that he wants to conclude the demobilization and reintegration of Renamo fighters before municipal elections on 10 October of this year. According to Nyusi, he and the late Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama were very close to agreement on a demobilization deal before Dhlakama’s death in May.
Whether Nyusi gets his wish depends heavily on new Renamo leader Ossufo Momade’s desire to do a deal and his ability to unite the party behind him. Though it is unlikely that any deal would significantly restrict Renamo’s access to arms, a reintegration program would probably require Renamo fighters to leave the bush, a move that would significantly hinder Renamo’s capacity for violence. Such a deal would depend largely on the fighters’ trust in Momade’s ability to protect them from retribution from the government.

13 Ethiopians die in road accident (AIM)
A traffic accident on Saturday in the Tsangano district of Tete province killed 13 Ethiopian citizens and injured another 12. The victims, thought to be undocumented immigrants, were traveling in a large truck that overturned, according to eyewitnesses. The truck, which was also carrying tobacco for the Mozambique Leaf Tobacco company, was headed from the Malawian border to Tete City.

Police: No sign of armed gangs in Nampula (AIM)
Zacharias Nacute, spokesman for Nampula Provincial Police Command, said in a press conference yesterday that police have no record of any armed gangs infiltrating Nampula province. Nacute’s statement comes after a week of speculation that the insurgents terrorizing Cabo Delgado province are moving south into Nampula. Nevertheless, Nacute said, police are stepping up patrols to counter the threat.
There have not been any confirmed attacks in Nampula, but it does seem to be a recruitment route for the insurgents. Police have arrested groups transiting Nampula for Cabo Delgado on at least two occasions, accusing them of attempting to join the insurgency.

© 2018, Zitamar LTD. All rights reserved.

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