Zitamar Daily Briefing, 15 June 2018


Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 15 June, 2018.


  • Today: Candidate registration starts for parties wishing to field candidates in the local elections of 10 October
  • Today: Bank of Mozambique ‘Jornadas Cientificas’ – annual meet-up between the central bank and the rest of Mozambique’s financial sector, in Maputo
  • Monday: Bank of Mozambique monetary policy commission meets to update policy; statement scheduled for 15:45

The latest from Zitamar News:

Anadarko announces sales agreement with Centrica and Tokyo Gas
This is not (yet) a binding Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), meaning it is not really progress. All we have here is the identity of the offtakers of part of the 8.5mtpa that Anadarko has non-binding agreements for. It needs to convert most of that into SPAs before it can reach FID

Venâncio Mondlane quits MDM ahead of Maputo municipal election
The charismatic mayoral candidate has confirmed for Zitamar News that he will not run as part of the MDM, due to the party’s “disastrous” leadership

Refugees in Malawi to return to Mozambique this year – UNHCR
Resettlement will take one or two months once the long-awaited agreement is signed, the UN agency said

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The best of the rest:

  • MDM confirms Araujo and Simango candidacies; Bismarque to run in Nampula
  • Talks with the government are progressing slowly, says Renamo secretary general
  • Nyusi acknowledges popular complaints about distribution of gas benefits
  • Chinese ships fishing illegally in Mozambican waters
  • Cabo Delgado attacks not slowing gas investment, deputy minister days
  • Refugee population in Mozambique over 40,000
  • CNE suggests reducing candidate registration period to 90 days

MDM confirms Araujo and Simango candidacies; Bismarque to run in Nampula (VoA, Ntatenda)
Movimento Democrático de Moçambique (MDM) has chosen Fernando Bismarque as its candidate for the presidency of the Municipal Council of Nampula in 10 October local elections – ditching Carlos Saide who came third in this year’s by-election after the assassination of the MDM incumbent, Mahamudo Amurane. Bismarque joins Manuel de Araújo for Quelimane, and Daviz Simango for Beira.
The confirmations of Araujo and Simango are both notable, too; Araujo has been courted by Renamo, but appears (unlike Venancio Mondlane) to have stuck with the MDM; and Simango has not bowed to pressure from parts of his party to hand over Beira to another candidate – even though doing so would have been a way of combating criticism of the MDM as his personal fiefdom, and perhaps increase his chance of winning the Sofala governorship next year.

Talks with the government are progressing slowly, says Renamo secretary general (O País)
Renamo secretary general Manuel Bissopo said yesterday that peace negotiations between the party’s interim leader Ossufo Momade and Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi “are on the path”, and that the two parties speak regularly. He warned, however, that the process is complex and that concessions still need to be made.
That the channels of communication between Nyusi and the late Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama remain open for Momade is a positive sign for peace talks, as direct discussions between leaders have been the source of most of the breakthroughs in the process thus far.

Nyusi acknowledges popular complaints about distribution of gas benefits (DW, O País)
In a speech yesterday, Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi acknowledged the legitimacy of demands by the people of Panda district, Inhambane province for greater access to money generated by gas exploration in the region by South African oil company Sasol. Nyusi urged the local government to better coordinate with the company so that revenues could be used for economic development projects.
Sasol is feeling the heat from the Mozambican government over its new project and historical promises it has made – while the government is perhaps learning lessons from Cabo Delgado on the importance of sharing resource wealth with local populations.

Chinese ships fishing illegally in Mozambican waters (Savana)
A Savana investigation has found Chinese-owned fishing vessels, often operating in joint partnerships with Mozambican companies, violating Mozambican fishing regulations. Five vessels, for example, have trawled for fish just six miles from shore in the Sofala Bank, while laws clearly state that fishing must take place at least twelve miles from shore. Local fishermen expressed concern that the large Chinese fishing boats, operating outside of environmental regulations, will lead to overfishing.
The new joint venture between notional tuna fishing company Ematum and Erik Prince’s Chinese government-owned FSG, Tunamar, is supposed to combat illegal fishing in Mozambican waters – as well as fish for tuna itself. It remains to be seen how the company will balance the interests of Mozambique and China in its enforcement of fishing regulations. For their part, 80 Mozambican tax officials have begun a Mandarin course, AIM reports today, a move meant to improve regulation of Chinese businesses in Mozambique.

Cabo Delgado attacks not slowing gas investment, deputy minister days (AIM)
Mozambique’s deputy energy minister, Augusto de Sousa Fernando, claimed on Wednesday that the recent acceleration of attacks by insurgents in Cabo Delgado, where most of the country’s gas exploration is taking place, is not affecting investment by foreign companies in the energy sector.
Fernando may be right in the long run – insurgents have yet to attack corporate targets, and energy companies have shown a strong appetite to accept security risk in other areas of the world where there is profit to be made. In the short run, though, violence has caused some companies to suspend exploration and some local employees to refuse to go to work for fear of attacks. See our interactive map of the attacks here.

Refugee population in Mozambique over 40,000 (AIM)
The director of Mozambique’s National Refugee Support Institute, Antonio Inacio Junior, reported Wednesday that the refugee population in the country has ballooned to 40,300, up from 26,000 in 2015. Of the 40,300, only 4,732 have recognized refugee status, while the rest are either registered asylum seekers or unregistered. Inacio Junior, speaking at a press conference in Maputo, said that most of the refugees come from DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and Somalia.

CNE suggests reducing candidate registration period to 90 days (Notícias)
The National Election Commission (CNE) proposed yesterday limiting the period for registering candidates in Mozambican elections to 90 days to allow for the distribution of voter registration data. The current law gives parties 120 days to submit candidates.

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