- Monday: Hearings begin in trial of defendants over the so-called “hidden debts”, Matola maximum security prison, Maputo province
- Failure to upgrade hygiene facilities could have contributed to covid spread in schools (CIP, Mediafax)
- Power will be restored to Cabo Delgado districts by October, says energy minister (Rádio Moçambique)
- Cabo Delgado governor urges vigilance over terrorist infiltration (Lusa, Rádio Moçambique)
- Mozambique could join Kimberley Process in November (AIM)
- Partners needed to finance new ID cards for refugees from terrorism (AIM, Mediafax)
- Cashew nut producers want easier export rules (O País)
- Titanium miner “has enough minerals for 100 years” (AIM)
Failure to upgrade hygiene facilities could have contributed to covid spread in schools (CIP, Mediafax)
Just under half the work to upgrade hygiene facilities in schools across Mozambique to help contain the spread of covid-19 has been completed, more than six months after the deadline, according to an investigation carried out by transparency watchdog CIP. The Mozambican government allocated MZN3.5bn-worth ($55m) of contracts to private companies to refurbish and install toilets and hand-washing points in schools a year ago. The upgrades were supposed to be completed between August and October 2020. By May 2021, when CIP inspected 125 schools and 10 public institutions, only 43% of schools had finished installations, despite all the contractors having been paid in full. Work that was finished was already showing signs of deterioration, indicating the poor quality of the materials used and inappropriate installation. The poor quality and the non-completion of these works may have been one reason why there were so many positive covid-19 cases in schools, which forced the government to close them again in July, CIP said in its report. The watchdog recommends that the government now publish a detailed public report showing which schools should have benefited, and the value of the contracts for each, as well as inspecting the works to ensure they comply with contract terms.
Mediafax reports that 43% of the work is still incomplete, but this seems to be a misreading of CIP’s figure of 56.8% of schools where work was still ongoing in May.
Power will be restored to Cabo Delgado districts by October, says energy minister (Rádio Moçambique)
Electricity will gradually be restored in the districts of Macomia, Mueda and Mocímboa da Praia, in Cabo Delgado province, over the next 45 days, energy minister Max Tonela has said. Tonela explained that the transmission lines that carry power between the three districts had been completely destroyed by the terrorists. He added that there were ongoing actions to allow oil and gas companies to return to the province.
Cabo Delgado governor urges vigilance over terrorist infiltration (Lusa, Rádio Moçambique)
The governor of Cabo Delgado province has called on the local population to be vigilant about terrorists mixing with the refugee population, as the terrorists retreated in the face of an offensive by Mozambican and Rwandan troops in the province. “When escaping, they will also want to pretend to be displaced people from our villages. This is where we are called to be vigilant, as this is where [the terrorists] will want to blend in,” Valige Tauabo said. Tauabo added that anyone hosting refugees in their home needed to inform the authorities about them. He was speaking on a visit to the administrative post of Nairoto, in Cabo Delgado’s Montepuez district. Defence minister Jaime Neto has meanwhile said that Mozambique’s Defence and Security Forces are receiving training to prevent terrorists resettling in parts of the province recaptured from them.
Mozambique could join Kimberley Process in November (AIM)
Mozambique could be admitted to the Kimberley Process, the set of rules governing transparency in the production and export of diamonds, at the next plenary meeting of the governing body in November, a government official has said. Castro Elias, executive secretary of the government’s Kimberley Process management unit, told newspaper Noticias that he believed that admission would lead to many companies interested in prospecting for diamonds, and an increase in exports. Mozambique had had a positive response to a presentation it gave in June to Kimberley Process managers, where it updated them on progress the country had made in meeting the requirements of the process, Elias said. This progress included the creation of warehouses with security provisions for the processing of exports and the training of technicians in diamond evaluation, he added. As a result, the managers agreed to send a second evaluation mission in September to evaluate the situation in Mozambique with a view to the country being admitted in November, Elias went on.
Partners needed to finance new ID cards for refugees from terrorism (AIM, Mediafax)
The National Directorate of Civil Identification (DNIC) is looking for partners to help finance the issuance of new identity cards for victims of terrorism in the province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique. Some organisations had already responded positively, but it was still too early to say when the process of issuing the cards could start, as the companies involved were still preparing, DNIC spokesperson, Alberto Sumbane, said during a press conference in Maputo on Thursday. He added that people in refugee camps in Metuge, Pemba and Mocímboa da Praia would be the first beneficiaries.
It is important to guarantee that people are given correct IDs since there is evidence displaced people from areas affected by terrorism are being issued with new IDs with Pemba as their birthplace, which might prevent them from claiming property where they are originally from.
Cashew nut producers want easier export rules (O País)
Cashew nut producers in Cabo Delgado province have proposed changes to the law on nut production in order to make it easier to sell their nuts in Tanzania. The producers say that the current law, in force for 20 years, imposes many limitations on the export of nuts. “Sometimes we produce large quantities of cashew nuts and the price in other countries, especially Tanzania, is high compared to Mozambique, so we want the export process to be easier so we can sell our production wherever it is more advantageous”, O País quotes producers as saying. The comments were made in a meeting with the agriculture ministry consulting on proposed changes to the law. A revised law is due to be presented to the Council of Ministers on 31 August.
The government’s main intention in changing the law is to create conditions for larger quantities of nuts to be processed in Mozambique, instead of being exported unprocessed.
Titanium miner “has enough minerals for 100 years” (AIM)
The titanium minerals mine operated by Kenmare Resources in Moma, Nampula province, has enough deposits to continue operating at the current rate of production for 100 years, the company’s managing director said. Kenmare recently reported record half-yearly profits of $48m, up 278% on last year, which it attributed to increased production and shipment volumes. Revenue was up 51% and sales 44%. Speaking to the Irish Times, Michael Carvill said that Kenmare’s results were driven by a rise in global economic activity and a shortage of titanium supplies. The mine produces ilmenite and rutile, used in pigments, and zircon, used in ceramics and catalytic converters. It is the world’s largest producer of ilmenite, with 552,000 tonnes produced in the six months to the end of June.
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