Intelligent news from Mozambique

Zitamar Daily Briefing, 24 September

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Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 24 September 2019

Sep 24 Subscriber’s post

Agenda:

  • Tomorrow: Public holiday for Armed Forces Day

Today’s headlines:

  • ENH considers three offers to fund its $2bn stake in Mozambique LNG (O País)
  • Cabo Delgado attacks means country is not “at peace”, says Renamo (AIM)
  • Teachers down tools to join Frelimo campaign — are punished for joining MDM campaign (Mozambique Political Process Bulletin)
  • CIP denounces “corruption” in Maputo driving licence scheme (Noticias)
  • Mozambique’s thirst increases – mainly for foreign beer (A Verdade)
  • Tomaz Salomao ditched in Tongaat Hulett board purge (Statement)

 

ENH considers three offers to fund its $2bn stake in Mozambique LNG (O País)
Three lenders have offered to fund the $2 billion that national oil company, ENH, needs to cover its 15% stake in the Area 1 gas project in the Rovuma Basin. ENH is now considering the most “favorable” proposal, the company’s commercial director, Titos Nhabomba, told O País. Nhabomba said financing was supposed to have closed by 15 September, but the company is still on track.
O País previously reported that Russia’s Gazprombank is in “intensive negotiations” with ENH about funding its stake in the project. The widely accepted view, however, is that the other partners in the Area 1 consortium – now headed by Occidental Petroleum, but soon to be led by Total – will fund ENH’s stake.

Cabo Delgado attacks means country is not “at peace”, says Renamo (AIM)
Renamo says the government cannot claim Mozambique to be at peace while the attacks continue in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. “Our brothers are dying cruelly in Cabo Delgado, particularly in Macomia and Mocimboa da Praia districts”, AIM reported the Renamo candidate for governor of Maputo province, Antonio Muchanga, saying at a rally in Ponta de Ouro on Sunday. “They are living in a climate of fear. What peace is this that they sing so much about?”
In his speech Muchanga also touched on the government’s soft-touch response to the xenophobic riots in South Africa and the killing of two Mozambican border guards by South African soldiers in Ponta de Ouro – as well as towards the people involved in the $2bn hidden debt scandal. He told the crowds only Renamo’s hands “are clean”.

Teachers down tools to join Frelimo campaign — are punished for joining MDM campaign (Mozambique Political Process Bulletin)
Daniel Chapo is the appointed Governor of Inhambane and is standing to be elected as Governor as head of the Frelimo provincial assembly list. “Where he goes, work stops, as Inhambane province-level civil servants leave their workplaces to participate in the Frelimo campaign. Public institutions have empty offices and students go without classes when Chapo visits,” writes the Bulletin. In Gaza province, three teachers have been transferred to other schools in remote areas, allegedly for being part of the MDM campaign.

CIP denounces “corruption” in Maputo driving licence scheme (Noticias)
The Center for Public Integrity of Mozambique (CIP) has denounced corruption at the National Institute of Land Transport in Maputo, which is issuing driving licenses to unqualified drivers as part of a fraudulent scheme that can yield about 30 million meticais ($484,545) per year. Employees of the National Institute of Land Transport (INATTER) are charging MZN 50,000 (around $800) to issue a driver’s licence to individuals who have not passed their test at the driving school. According to CIP, Nigerians and Chinese commonly take advantage of the scheme.

Mozambique’s thirst increases – but mainly for foreign beer (A Verdade)
Beer imports increased in Mozambique in 2019, with $16.4 million spent on imports in the first half of the year – while the volume of domestic beer sold has decreased, despite the start-up of new breweries in the country and tax incentives offered on alcohol production, A Verdade reports. Beer imports went up in Q2 2019 and Q1 2019 by 23.8% and 7.5% respectively, compared to the same quarters in 2018, which were up by 99.5% and 22.5% compared to Q2 and Q1 2017, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). The volume of domestic beer sold in Q2 2019 declined by about 12%, compared to the same period in 2018.
The entry of Heineken into the Mozambican market has caused a big fight for market share with the former monopoly, CDM. Heineken is producing its own Mozambican beer, Txilar, but is also importing Heineken — leading CDM to increase imports of brands such as Stella Artois to compete at the higher end of the market.

Tomaz Salomao ditched in Tongaat Hulett board purge (Statement)

Tomaz Salomao, a former Mozambican minister of finance, will leave the board of sugar company Tongaat Hulett at the end of this month, as part of a shake-up at the troubled company, which will leave no Mozambicans on its board. Salomao had served on the company’s board since 2015.
The company is quitting its Mozambican operations as part of a drastic downsizing of operations after an accounting scandal was uncovered. Tongaat Hulett has not said anything about irregularities at its Mozambican sugar mills — Xinavane in Maputo province and Mafambisse in Sofala — but mismanagement there is widely thought to have contributed to the company’s problems.


© 2019, Alexandre Nhampossa. All rights reserved.

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