Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 21 November, 2018.
- Today: President Filipe Nyusi starts a four-day state visit to Kenya
- Today: Start of the Bank of Mozambique’s three-day ‘Consultative Council’, held this year in Quelimane
- Today and Tomorrow: Government ministers answer MPs’ questions in parliament
- Banks pay Bizfirst to restore ATM and card payments (Carta de Moçambique, MediaFax, O País, CanalMoz)
- Another decapitation in Macomia, Cabo Delgado (VoA)
The Mozambican banks within AMB has agreed to pay €3.5million to Portuguese software provider Bizfirst, plus €300,000 for a year’s maintenance, to unblock the country’s interbank payment system and allow ATMs and card payment machines to start working again. Paulo Sousa, chief executive of BCI and former head of Interbancos which originally signed with Bizfirst in 2014, led the negotiations. The search continues for a permanent replacement for the Bizfirst system, with reports saying American company Euronet will be given the contract without a competitive tender.
The commercial banks have acted promptly to avoid a run on the banking system – in spite of the central bank, which is supposed to have that role, and which is coming out of this fiasco humiliated. The Bank of Mozambique’s determination to take over the interbank system, through SIMO, may have been well motivated, and Interbancos’ deal with Bizfirst may have been flawed, but the Bank of Mozambique’s first responsibility is to ensure the continued smooth running of the country’s financial system, and it failed. The fact that the governor and his staff are now in Quelimane for their 3-day Consultative Council, rather than at their desks in Maputo working on a solution to this issue, creates the impression they either don’t understand the gravity of the situation, or they don’t really care.
Another decapitation in Macomia, Cabo Delgado (VoA)
A peasant farmer has been found decapitated on his field near the village of Chai in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado. Reports say the attackers did not enter the village, and no houses were burnt or damaged. The victim’s body was later discovered by neighbours and subsequently buried. Zitamar has also received unconfirmed reports of an attack on Saturday night in Pundanhar that killed 10 people.
Zitamar now has a consulting arm which can offer unparalleled insights into the insurgency in Cabo Delgado. Its team of reporters and analysts in Maputo, Cabo Delgado, and internationally, with years of expertise covering oil and gas investments, Mozambican politics and business, and security issues in Southern Africa, is uniquely placed to give corporations the intelligence they need to manage the risks of investing in Mozambique. For more details, email email@example.com. To see our map and timeline of incidents so far, click here.
Renamo’s continued threats to peace in Mozambique cannot be justified, Frelimo party spokesman Caifadine Manasse said yesterday, after Renamo’s interim leader Ossufo Momade said Mozambique was at risk of more post-electoral conflict following October’s municipal elections.
The peace process does depend on Renamo being given a meaningful share of power in Mozambique, as Joseph Hanlon points out in the latest edition of his and CIP’s Bulletin. “The blatant move to block Renamo gaining power in three to five municipalities, as rubber stamped by the National Elections Commission and Constitutional Council, surely raises questions about Frelimo’s good faith,” Hanlon writes, adding: “This must have an effect on the ongoing negotiations over decentralisation and Renamo integration into the police and military.”
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