Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 22 June, 2018.
- Today: Defence Minister Atanásio M’tumuke represents Mozambique at the 20th meeting of the Ministerial Committee of SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security
The latest from Zitamar News:
Tete governor hails ‘oxygen cylinder’ mine, despite suffocation death
The governor of Tete province has urged the local community to cooperate with a Chinese-controlled gold mine in spite of violations which led to the death of one mine worker
Mozambique lawyers accuse public prosecutor of inaction over Cabo Delgado crisis
Prosecutors’ weakness against organized crime has ‘created a sense of impunity and feeds violence in Cabo Delgado’, Bar Association warns
The best of the rest:
- Frelimo says no election law without demobilisation agreement with Renamo
- Mozambique police tighten borders with Tanzania and Malawi; Malawi on alert
- Four children die in Inhambane house fire
- Milange will stop relying on Malawian electricity
Frelimo says no election law without demobilisation agreement with Renamo (O País)
After delaying on Wednesday the special session of parliament meant to implement the decentralization reforms recently added to the Mozambican constitution, Frelimo is now refusing to set a new date for the session until agreement is reached on demobilisation of Renamo fighters. The cancellation comes after Frelimo MPs on parliament’s Permanent Commission demanded that all Renamo fighters must be demobilised by 10 October in order for elections to take place under the new, decentralized system. Renamo disagrees, arguing that demobilisation is not a parliamentary issue and that the terms of the agreement between President Nyusi and the late Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama explicitly de-linked the two issues.
In his analysis of the situation, Joseph Hanlon points out that the cancellation of the special session throws the existence of the 10 October election into question, as there is little time remaining to pass the laws that should govern the election. The existing election law is no longer in line with the constitution, which has been amended.
There are two major hurdles for demobilisation talks to get over if a compromise on election implementation is to be reached in time. The first is integration of Renamo fighters into government forces. Since verifiably disarming Renamo is a pipe dream, the key to restricting its capacity for violence is removing its fighters from Renamo control and into government control through a reintegration scheme. The only form of reintegration Dhlakama was willing to accept when he was alive was parity between Renamo and Frelimo in the upper reaches of Mozambique’s defence establishment – a tough pill for Frelimo to swallow. New Renamo leader Ossufo Momade will have to decide how strongly he will stick to Dhlakama’s position.
The second hurdle is building Frelimo’s trust in Momade’s ability to deliver concessions. Whatever Frelimo’s distrust of Dhlakama personally, there was never any question of his ability to start and stop Renamo violence at will. Momade, however, is still untested as a Renamo leader, and it is much harder for Nyusi to make the case to his party that they should give Momade concessions when he cannot guarantee that Momade can deliver peace in exchange. While local politics in Mozambique have been heating up for the past few weeks with candidates clamoring to head their local party lists, national politics could now throw cold water on the entire election process.
Police tighten borders between Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi; Malawi on alert (Rádio Moçambique, Ntatenda, Nyasa Times)
Mozambican police in Niassa province say they have strengthened measures to prevent illegal border crossings between Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi. The more stringent controls resulted in 53 people being deported from the province between January and April of this year, most of them from the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa. Meanwhile, Malawi’s Nyasa Times reports that the country’s internal security services are “on alert” for Islamist terror spilling over the border.
Mozambique’s border police cited prevention of corn and fuel smuggling and illegal mining as reasons to crack down on border crossing, but evidence that foreigners play a role in the Cabo Delgado insurgency is surely a factor in increased border enforcement.
Four children die in Inhambane house fire (Notícias, O País)
Four siblings, aged four to 12, died in the early hours of yesterday morning when their house, in the Marambone neighborhood outside the town of Inhambane, caught fire. The fire began when a lit candle fell on a generator filled with fuel. The children’s parents were away, their mother visiting her husband in neighboring South Africa.
This is the second fire in the city in less than a week, after 15 houses burned down on Monday in two tourist resorts on Barra beach. Inhambane Mayor Benedito Guimino blamed the resort fires on poor road infrastructure making it impossible for firefighters to reach the blaze.
Milange will stop relying on Malawian electricity (AIM)
Mozambique’s energy grid will reach the border town of Milange, in Zambézia province, between September and October of this year, Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi promised yesterday at a rally in the province. Currently, Milange gets its electricity from Malawi, which creates difficulties due to energy restrictions the country imposes.
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