Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 4 April, 2018.
- Today: Mozambique defence minister Atanásio Salvador M’tumuke at Russia’s VII Moscow Conference on International Security
The latest from Zitamar News:
Mozambique currency volatility hits Vodacom revenues
Figures show a drop in Vodacom Moçambique’s revenues when measured in hard currency – mainly because of the devaluation of the Mozambican metical
The best of the rest:
Dhlakama says Renamo will only disarm if its ‘commandos’ are let in to police and secret services (Canal de Moçambique)
Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama says the disarmament and integration of his armed forces into Mozambique’s state security apparatus is not a quid pro quo for decentralisation – and said he will only disarm if his ‘commandos’ are allowed into the police and SISE, the secret services. “Renamo won’t take its arms from its security and give them to a group of people who receive orders from the Frelimo party. That can never happen,” he told Canal.
This is the second time in a week that Dhlakama has called for the police and SISE to become non-partisan, or bi-partisan (see Zitamar Daily Briefing 29 March). It will be interesting to see how Nyusi and Frelimo respond – but it seems most likely that both parties will prefer to keep their own armed guards rather than pooling them in a truly depoliticised security apparatus.
Delayed VAT refunds could delay Anadarko’s FID (@Verdade)
Mozambique’s chronic delays in refunding VAT must be sorted out before Anadarko takes its final investment decision (FID), the company’s Mozambique finance chief said at a conference in Maputo last month. Once the project is underway, it could affect billions of dollars of imports, Wayne Rodrigs said. @Verdade says the government already owes Anadarko a billion meticais ($16 million) in VAT refunds.
The lack of capacity at Mozambique’s tax authority, the AT, for handling the taxation of the giant LNG projects in the Rovuma Basin is a key concern for investors and donors – and it should also be for the government. The curious and unexplained figures in finance minister Maleiane’s presentation to creditors in London last month, detailing how much corporate income tax he expects the Area 1 and Area 4 projects to pay over the next 22 years, has raised eyebrows. If the government cannot accurately calculate, collect and manage tax revenues from the Rovuma Basin projects, that will limit how much LNG can really contribute to the development of the country. But the steps that need to be taken now to help upskill the AT are being overlooked.
Interior minister admits spy cameras not working, can’t help catch Salema attackers (O País)
O País says its reporters forced Jaime Monteiro, the interior minister, to talk about the Salema case, after he tried to evade their questioning. He said there are no leads – and, when the O País reporter put it to him that the attackers shouldn’t be hard to find, thanks to cameras installed on the Maputo ring road in 2016, Monteiro said the apparatus is not yet operational.
Monteiro has his work cut out to convince anyone that the police has any intention of tracking down the attackers of Salema – or those of Jose Jaime Macuane, who suffered a similar fate in 2016, or of Gilles Cistac, assassinated in 2015. Macuane has said that one of his attackers showed him his police ID card – but his detailed testimony has apparently not been followed up.
Limpopo National Park accused of using lions to force out human population (Lusa)
Residents of Mavodze in Gaza have accused the administration of the Limpopo National Park (Parque Nacional do Limpopo, PNL) of introducing lions to the park in order to force the humans living inside the park to move out. The community claims to have lost 500 head of cattle to lions last year. The park authorities say the increase in wild animals is due to improving ecological conditions.
The PNL is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a 35,000 km² area also including Kruger National Park in South Africa and Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe. As such, the Mozambican authorities probably cannot reduce the lion population, even if they wanted to. The transfrontier park also has a significant elephant poaching problem, which can be positive for lion populations who feed off the elephant carcasses left by poachers.
Interior Minister orders investigation into money laundering at Nacala Port (Noticias)
Basílio Monteiro has told the police investigators (the Serviço Nacional de Investigação Criminal, SERNIC) to investigate suspected money laundering at the Nacala Port special economic zone – based on “significant evidence” that this type of crime is going on there.
Last year, two Chinese nationals were arrested in Nacala for money laundering and illegal timber exports.
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