- Today to Wednesday, 28 September: XII Congress of Frelimo, at the Frelimo school in Matola
The latest from Zitamar News:
Mozambique’s ruling party Frelimo began its 12th Congress on Friday, which will culminate with the re-election of Filipe Nyusi as president of the party and the election of members of the Political Commission and the Central Committee, the most important decision-making bodies of the party outside of the five-yearly congress.
Nyusi is the only candidate for the role of re-election for five years, the party secretary general Roque Silva confirmed at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of the meeting.
His re-election will be no surprise, since it is Frelimo practice that the president of the republic is also president of the party. Following precedent, Nyusi is expected to stand down as president of the party after the 2024 presidential elections when he finishes his second term as Mozambican president.
However, there are also rumours that he wants to amend the constitution of the republic of Mozambique to allow him a third term as president — something he neither admitted nor denied a week ago when he was confronted by former energy minister Castigo Langa on the matter.
Subscribers read on… Frelimo Congress kicks off amidst controversy over ‘third term’
- Mining and the Insurgency in Southern Cabo Delgado
- Research on the Insurgency in Mozambique
- Civil War, What Civil War?
The latest from Cabo Delgado:
- The village of Omba (or Homba), in the south east of Mueda district close to the border with Muidumbe and Meluco districts, was attacked this morning, according to multiple sources
Also in the news:
- Rwandan ruling party seen investing in Cabo Delgado mining (Africa Intelligence)
- Opposition leader’s son arrested on corruption charges (DW)
- Resettlement of households due to power line construction delayed (Notícias)
- Frelimo tries to block appointment of elections boss (Mozambique Political Process Bulletin)
- Three arrested in Nampula for forging banknotes (AIM)
- NGO questions transfer of Cabo Delgado land to obscure organisation (Lusa)
Rwandan ruling party seen investing in Cabo Delgado mining (Africa Intelligence)
A company linked to Rwanda’s ruling party has entered a joint venture apparently to mine for graphite in Cabo Delgado, Africa Intelligence reports. Strofinare Mozambique, a Rwandan-owned company registered in Mozambique, has 60% of the new company, called Megaruma Grafite, alongside a Mozambican-owned company called Consortium Lda, which holds 40%. Strofinare has appointed Pasteur Kayisire as its representative on the board; Kayisire is head of construction at Crystal Ventures, a company owned by the Rwandan Patriotic Front of president Paul Kagame. Strofinare is part-owned by Jean-Paul Rutagarama, director of a gold refiner which won a contract in the DRC in 2021, which was broken off when relations between DRC and Rwanda soured.
Zitamar’s further investigations show that Strofinare Mozambique is majority-owned by Macefield Ventures, another Rwandan investment company whose CEO, Elias Baingana, was Crystal Ventures’ chief operating officer for nine years until moving into his new job earlier this year. Before that, he was at the Rwandan Ministry of Finance for seven years.
Rwanda has made no secret of its desire to get involved with the economic development of Mozambique as well as helping ensure security. A different spin on that is that it is looking for mineral concessions as a quid pro quo for its military assistance. That would be corrupt: it is the Rwandan state that is providing the military, not the RPF, and it should be the state that is paid for it, not the ruling party.
Opposition leader’s son arrested on corruption charges (DW)
The son of Ossufo Momade, the leader of Mozambique’s largest opposition party Renamo, has been arrested on charges of abuse of office, fraud and making false statements. According to the Provincial Office for Combating Corruption, which ordered his arrest, a complaint was raised about Osvaldo Momade, who is a member of Nampula’s city council with responsibility for economic promotion. The complainant said they applied to use a commercial space and then, while waiting for a response to their application, were surprised to see someone else apparently using the same space for the same purpose, the office said in a statement. The public prosecutor said that Momade had authorised the second applicant to use the commercial space, although that authorisation should have been done by technicians and been signed by the mayor. Renamo, the city council, the police and the municipal legal office all declined to comment.
This looks like a petty instance of influence-peddling of the type which is common in Mozambique; but the fact it has made the news could be indicative of efforts to undermine Ossufo Momade’s authority, or at least that he does not entirely call the shots in his home province of Nampula.
Resettlement of households due to power line construction delayed (Notícias)
Resettlement of households affected by the construction of the 590km Temane-Maputo power transmission line has been postponed due to delay in receiving money from international donors. The 250 households from the districts of Manhiça, Marracuene and Boane in Maputo province are currently waiting to be resettled to Gumbane, in Boane district. Maputo’s provincial director of territorial development and environment, Alda Sulemane, said that the construction of resettlement houses was initially planned to be completed in October, but it may not be done until the end of the year. The transmission line is being developed alongside the construction of the Temane gas-fired power plant.
Frelimo tries to block appointment of elections boss (Mozambique Political Process Bulletin)
Yet another political manoeuvre by ruling party Frelimo has forced the postponement of the swearing in of the new director-general of election administration body STAE this week. Loló Correia had been selected for the job in an internal election and in the face of Frelimo opposition, but with the swearing-in ceremony already announced and prepared for, Frelimo intervened again. This time it is aiming to annul the selection and force the launch of a new recruitment process, on the grounds that candidates were not interviewed, as would be normal for a senior civil service job. The National Elections Commission postponed the swearing-in after receiving the complaint from Jose dos Santos Anjos Grachane, who came third in the election for the post. Renamo claims the postponement is illegal, and too late since Correia’s appointment has already been published in the government gazette.
Frelimo’s apparent desperation to control this post does not bode well for the fairness of municipal elections next year, and national elections the year after — though the Bulletin has previously suggested that their keenness to have their person in charge of STAE is more about the award of lucrative contracts than stealing votes.
Three arrested in Nampula for forging banknotes (AIM)
Police have arrested three people in the northern province of Nampula on suspicion of making and distributing forged banknotes. The police on Tuesday displayed equipment which they said the three, two Malians and one Ivorian, had used to forge the banknotes with face values between MZN200 and MZN1000 ($15.66). The three deny the accusations, and the Malians say that they are part of the leadership of an association of Malian citizens in Mozambique. A police spokesman said that a fourth person was on the run. The police squad also presented a 22-year-old man they said was a gang leader accused of a string of assaults and thefts. He was found in possession of a shotgun which he is accused of stealing from a relative. Police in Nampula also recently released 29 people suspected of terrorism, who had been arrested in parts of Cabo Delgado province that had suffered terrorist attacks.
NGO questions transfer of Cabo Delgado land to obscure organisation (Lusa)
Mozambican think tank the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called for the government to provide more information about the Cabo Delgado Economic Development Promotion Centre (CPD). A CDD statement said that four months have passed since CPD was granted 12,000 hectares of land in Palma district, Cabo Delgado province, without community consultation, but that the centre remains obscure to the public. According to CDD’s analysis, even senior politicians in the province are in the dark about CPD. The lack of transparency in the process could “exacerbate tensions” between communities in the area, CDD said. Earlier in the year, land rights NGO Centro Terra Viva asked authorities why the land was attributed to CPD without consultation.
The concession was originally announced by the Council of Ministers, without providing any further details.
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