Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 11 June, 2018.
- Today: The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Action releases its National Action Plan for Women, Peace, and Security
The latest from Zitamar News:
Analysis: Renamo leader’s Gorongosa move puts military centre stage
Demonstrating control over Renamo’s military will be crucial for Momade’s credibility, both to lead Renamo and for peace talks with the government
Mozambicans flee to islands to escape terror attacks; work halted on gas projects
Islands off the Cabo Delgado coast are filling up with refugees fleeing the intensifying attacks
Freight rail to Maputo suspended for engineering works
Freight train traffic has been halted on the rail lines running into Maputo from South Africa and Swaziland until this Wednesday
The best of the rest:
Monetary policy meeting set for 18 June (Bank of Mozambique)
The central bank’s monetary policy committee can be expected to continue its rate-cutting cycle, as its benchmark MIMO rate remains many percentage points above inflation, which now seems to be under control.
Mozambique defence forces set up new Cabo Delgado base (Rádio Moçambique)
Mozambique’s Defense and Security Forces (FDS) set up an operational command in the Quissanga and Macomia districts of Cabo Delgado on Saturday, to combat attacks by Islamist group Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamâ. The police arrested three people alleged to be members of the group – two on the island of Ibo, where hundreds of refugees are now seeking refuge from the attack, and the third in Palma district.
Locals who have not yet fled the districts will be somewhat reassured by the seriousness with which the defence forces seem now to be treating the situation – but our sources suggest the military is acting as unprofessionally as ever, frequently drunk and demanding food and favours from locals in order to provide them with protection.
Government examines revoking Pebane heavy sands exploration license (Rádio Moçambique)
The Mozambican government is considering revoking Tazetta Resources’ exploration license for heavy sands in Pebane, Zambezia province, after a group of 160 local citizens accused the company of disrespecting the local community and other offenses.
Tazetta was established in Mozambique in 2010 by a Cypriot company of the same name. Its licence covers 1,200 hectares of land in Zambezia. The specifics of the community’s complaints are as yet unknown. Last month, a report by Amnesty International into Chinese heavy sand mining concern Haiyu caused the authorities to suspend mining there (See Zitamar Daily Briefing, 30 May 2018).
Nyusi lashes out against Maputo protests: “Look for another place to live” (AIM, @Verdade)
President Filipe Nyusi, speaking during his tour of Maputo city, blamed “agitators” for generating unrest in the capital, including recent protests against children being run over on the EN4 and a child being killed by a stray bullet from an army barracks in the neighbourhood of Sidwava. Nyusi made a veiled threat against protesters, claiming that the government is “registering incitement to disobedience”, before declaring that “if you are not prepared to live in the capital, look for another place [to live].”
It’s an extraordinary response to people who are asking the government for the most basic protection for their lives and those of their children. If Frelimo is not prepared to provide that, voters should conclude that the country (or at least their city) needs a new government.
Nyusi: government working to resolve construction crisis (AIM, DW)
During a working lunch with contractors on Friday, President Nyusi said he is aware of the challenges faced by the construction industry, and promised that the government is working to find solutions. Half of Mozambican contractors have either closed their doors in the last four years or are financially underwater, and the government alone owes contractors nearly $1.7 million in unpaid bills. Nyusi also warned against corruption in the construction sector leading to poor building quality.
Nyusi’s pledges are as vague as ever – designed to create reassuring headlines on state-owned media. The industry is unlikely to be reassured, however.
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