Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 14 February, 2019
- Tomorrow: Private business association CTA holds a breakfast discussion on the proposed Electricity Law
The latest headlines:
- Dossier shows how SISE official withdrew millions in cash (Canal de Moçambique)
- Justice minister visits prisons to check readiness for ‘VIPs’ (Carta de Moçambique)
- Report reveals widespread abuse of women in Mozambique civil war (Notícias, VoA, @Verdade)
- Zimbabwe grants passage to Mozambican green bananas (The Herald)
- Kenyan tycoon behind Nacala power project on the run from the tax man (Lusaka Times)
Dossier shows how SISE official withdrew millions in cash (Canal de Moçambique)
Spy chief Agi Anlaué, who was SISE’s effective number 3 and a director of ProIndicus, EMATUM and MAM, withdrew billions of meticais through a company he jointly owned with Antonio Carlos do Rosário, the head of the three companies and another senior SISE executive, Canal de Moçambique reported yesterday. Their report cites a dossier containing information on how more than MZN 4.5 billion (almost $74 million) of the illegal debts proceeds were channeled to Mozambican individuals and companies. The dossier was produced by the Gabinete de Informação Financeira de Moçambique (GIFIM), a body which reports to the Council of Ministers, and was submitted to the Prosecutor General and the Bank of Mozambique in late 2017, according to Canal de Moçambique, who have got hold of some of the documents.
Anlaué withdrew more than 1 billion meticais through cashing cheques in the account of IM Informatica Mania Lda, the company he owned with do Rosário. Between January and October 2015 he took out an average of 2.2 million per day, cashing cheques at BCI bank, Canal writes
Justice minister visits prisons to check readiness for ‘VIPs’ (Carta de Moçambique)
The minister of justice, Joaquim Veríssimo, visited prisons in Maputo and Matola yesterday to check their readiness to receive ‘very important prisoners’ linked to the illegal debts case. Carta previously reported that some cells in the so-called ‘Guantanamo 1’, within the prison in Matola known as the ‘BO’, have been upgraded to receive the VIPs.
The upgrade of the prisons in Matola and Maputo were started well before the arrest of former finance minister Manuel Chang in South Africa. It could be that the government has been preparing the arrest of these VIPs for a long time – or it could be that the prison upgrade had nothing to do with the hidden debts case, but is being used as part of the government’s grand PR exercise to convince the South Africans to return Chang.
Report reveals widespread abuse of women in Mozambique civil war (Notícias, VoA, @Verdade)
Mozambican women were murdered and sexually abused by Renamo and government soldiers during Mozambique’s 16-year civil war – crimes which have never been investigated, according to a report by Canada’s Lawyers Without Borders. The 83-page report, launched in Maputo yesterday, says ‘group rape’ was a particularly common form of violence against women, while others were captured and taken to military bases to work as cooks and sexual slaves.
The civil war left many traumas which have not been dealt with as both sides have kept to an unwritten agreement not to talk about the specifics of what happened. There has been at least one other report investigating these issues, but it was not published because of this agreement. As well as gender-based violence, another big issue is child soldiers. Arguably the silence needs to be broken for real healing to happen; but there is also an argument that now is not the right time to open the wounds, with both sides working towards a tricky peace agreement.
Zimbabwe grants passage to Mozambican green bananas (The Herald)
Zimbabwe’s government has given several Mozambique companies the go-ahead to export green bananas to Zambia through Zimbabwe, after concluding that there is no risk of them spreading plant diseases.
Kenyan tycoon behind Nacala power project on the run from the tax man (Lusaka Times)
Humphrey Kariuki, the Kenyan tycoon behind Great Lakes Africa Energy who won the right to build a gas-fired power plant in Nacala in Mozambique’s domestic gas projects tender, is thought to be in Zambia on the run from Kenyan authorities who want him for alleged tax evasion and importing sub-standard alcohol products into Kenya.
GLA Energy’s success in domestic gas tender raised a few eyebrows – not only because GLA Energy has no experience building gas-fired power plants, but because of its connection to Kariuki, who few investors want to do business with because of his alleged dodgy connections There have always been doubts about whether it is a realistic project, but now with Kariuki on the run, maybe it will finally be dropped.
- South32’s results showed Mozal’s production of aluminium in the second half of 2018 fell 1% due to an increase in power cuts (it gets its electricity from South Africa); operating costs grew 14% due to “a significant rise in raw material input costs”
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