Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 2 May, 2018.
- Today: Round table discussion hosted by EDM regarding the transformation of the company over the last three years
The latest from Zitamar News:
The company is under fire for alleged human rights violations, and now faces accusations of not paying its dues
The best of the rest:
- Kroll investigator worked for DFiD in Mozambique during Guebuza presidency
- Frelimo aims for Independence Day bridge inauguration
- Cost of establishing a company in Mozambique has gone up 468%
- HCB production on target despite disappointing rainfall
- Homeless Hulene families to receive rental cheques
Kroll investigator worked for DFiD in Mozambique during Guebuza presidency (Canal de Moçambique)
Canal’s splash today is that one of Kroll’s investigators of the ProIndicus, EMATUM, and MAM deals spent much of the Guebuza years in Mozambique, first as an Overseas Development Institute fellow in the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 2006-8, and then at the UK government aid agency DFiD from 2010-12. Oliver Stern joined Kroll in February 2016, two months before the ProIndicus scandal broke, and nine months before Kroll was formally asked to investigate.
There’s not much more to the story than that – and Canal has missed the fact that another Kroll investigator, Alexander Booth, happened to be living in Maputo when the scandal broke in 2016. It’s not clear what these ‘revelations’ really bring to our understanding of the hidden debt saga, however.
Frelimo aims for Independence Day bridge inauguration (MediaFax)
Frelimo’s propaganda strategists have decided that President Nyusi should inaugurate the Maputo-Katembe bridge on 25 June, the 43rd anniversary of Mozambique’s independence. Silva Magaia, the head of the state agency tasked with developing the project, Maputo Sul, promised journalists on Monday that the bridge would open in Q2, though work will continue into the second half of the year.
The date of 25 June was revealed by the new, mysterious, but clearly well-connected news website Artigo74 last week – which managed to segue in the same article from praising the bridge project to justifying ProIndicus on the basis of the appearance of Islamist terrorism. Suspicions that the website is linked to the secret services are heightened by the fact that the article also finds space to speak favourably of the Techobanine port project – whose main Mozambican shareholder is former security head Jacinto Veloso.
Cost of establishing a company in Mozambique has gone up 468% (Lusa)
The legal and administrative costs of setting up a company in Mozambique have gone up 468% since 2015, to MZN 36,629 ($614), private business association the CTA said in a blog post on Monday. Among other costs, publishing the company in the government gazette (Boletim da República) – something which the CTA says ought to be able to be done purely online – now costs MZN 31,811 ($533), compared to MZN 5,220 ($87) three years ago.
The CTA is surely right to condemn the increases – and to warn that it is pushing more small enterprises into the informal sector.
HCB production on target despite disappointing rainfall (Noticias)
Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) produced 3,433,504 megawatt hours (MWh) in Q1 2018, slightly above its target which had taken into account low water levels in the dam. The 2017-18 rainy season was below expectations, however, meaning that the hydropower plant will continue running just four of its five 415 MW generator groups – and take the opportunity to speed up its capital investment programme to modernise the plant.
HCB said the reservoir was at 4 metres below the desired level on 1 April. The National Water Directorate website shows that the level was at around 320 metres on 1 April – slightly above what it was at the same time last year – and has been gradually rising since then.
Homeless Hulene families to receive rental cheques (AIM)
Families who were made homeless by the fatal rubbish slide at the Hulene tip in Maputo in February will today start receiving cheques to cover the rental of temporary homes while new permanent residences are built for them in Marracuene. The Maputo municipality said it is currently choosing a contractor to build the new homes, which should be delivered within 12 months.
Let’s set an alarm for a year from now to see where this project has got to. It’s good to see the homeless families being looked after while the tragedy and scandal is fresh in the memory, but – once the municipal elections are out of the way this October – it’s easy to imagine them being forgotten about.
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