Welcome to a free edition of Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 13 December, 2017 – to find out how to receive it on a daily basis, please click here.
The latest from Zitamar News:
Nyusi kicks off senior government reshuffle with four dismissals
Pacheco named foreign minister in Mozambique reshuffle
The much-anticipated reshuffle follows ruling party Frelimo’s Congress in October, but some of the changes have taken observers by surprise. Agriculture could be the big winner
Mozambique LNG operators shun Pemba Logistics Base
The controversial logistics base is now neither Plan A nor Plan B according to a recent project update
The best of the rest:
Blackwater founder brings Chinese capital to ‘hidden debt’ companies (Bloomberg)
The founder of controversial US private military company Blackwater is to partner with the three state-owned Mozambican companies at the center of the ‘hidden debts’ scandal, Antonio do Rosario, the chairman of the three companies, told Bloomberg. Erik Prince – who has also attracted controversy due to his links to Donald Trump – plans to participate in the three companies through Hong Kong-based Frontier Services Group, which he chairs and which is owned by Chinese investors. “We are here to work on finalizing details with a joint venture with the government of Mozambique to develop and enhance their fishery in a sustainable, professional and ethical manner,” he said.
Celso Correia’s Insitec gives up BCI bank stake (MediaFax)
Grupo Insitec, owned by minister of land, environment, and rural affairs, Celso Correia, has given back its 16% stake in one of Mozambique’s biggest banks, BCI, to its Portuguese shareholders, Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) and Banco Português de Investimentos (BPI).
Correia said he was quitting business when he entered government in January 2015, but the return of these shares is thought to have more to do with revelations earlier this year that he is heavily in debt to the two Portuguese banks.
Timber theft still rife in Cabo Delgado (O País)
Despite the high profile ‘operacao tronco’ introduced by environment minister Celso Correia to stem illegal timber smuggling, the trade continues in Cabo Delgado where authorities have caught more than 50m3 of illegal hardwoods, headed for the port of Nacala in four trucks.
According to veteran Mozambique journalist Joseph Hanlon, the new foreign minister Jose Pacheco has been accused of involvement in the illegal timber trade – and, as former governor of Cabo Delgado, he is likely to have good connections there. His dismissal as agriculture minister yesterday raised hopes that his influence was waning – but today he was promoted to foreign minister.
Parliament approves 2018 budget plan (@Verdade, MediaFax, O País, Notícias, AIM)
Mozambique’s parliament yesterday approved ‘in general’ the government’s economic and social plan, and state budget, for 2018 – though the specifics will still have to be approved next week. Frelimo’s parliamentary majority voted the two instruments through, in the face of protests from Renamo and MDM.
Police detain 71 illegal gold miners in Manica (VoA)
Police in Manica province have detained 71 ‘garimpeiros’ in Chiuala, in the district of Barue, for illegally mining for gold, tourmalines, and other minerals. According to Voice of America, the minerals are attracting thousands of foreigner prospectors, in particular from the Great Lakes region.
- Today: The IMF completes its Article IV mission to assess Mozambique’s economy
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