Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 27 February, 2018.
The latest from Zitamar News:
Bank of Mozambique keeps cutting rates amid increased FX volatility
Increased dollar reserve requirement aims to keep metical steady following liberalisation of FX rules
The best of the rest:
Central bank governor says Mozambique is ‘coming out of crisis’ (Mediafax, @Verdade)
The governor of the central bank Rogerio Zandamela said at yesterday’s press conference that the country is now emerging from the crisis that engulfed it in 2016 – crediting the incipient recovery to the climate of political stability. Zandamela would not be drawn on whether the ‘hidden debts’ are illegal, saying that was a matter for jurists, not economists.
The governor had been widely questioned for taking a similarly rosy position on the state of the economy in April 2017 – but now says his words then are borne out by the evidence. However, big risks to the economy remain from government borrowing and it’s hard to see how that can be reduced any time soon.
Power restored in Cabo Delgado province (AIM)
Mozambique’s power utility (EDM) has temporarily repaired the damaged power lines that had cut power to northern Cabo Delgado province following flooding around the Messalo river last week. However, the utility has said that completing proper repairs to the five pylons, in highly remote areas, will cost 50 million meticais (around $820,000).
The power cut is a reminder of central government’s failure to provide reliable infrastructure to rural areas in the north of Mozambique, where an apparently Islamic insurgency rose up late last year. EDM is planning big power projects in the north, but finding the financing for the transmission network to get this power to where people need it remains a big challenge.
Maputo city council could be prosecuted over Hulene (O Pais, O Pais)
The public prosecutor’s office has said it is carrying out due diligence to assess whether Maputo council should face civil, administrative or criminal charges for the landslide that killed 16 in Hulene on 19 February. The council – which says it will make a new dump in Mateleme while the old one is buried – had already been warned by the prosecutor’s office of the imminent danger posed by the landfill.
It’s difficult if not impossible to imagine any senior politician really facing jail for the Hulene tragedy. This looks more like an attempt by the authorities to reassure people that justice is coming – so they don’t mete out justice on the Frelimo administration at the ballot box in October.
Labour inspectorate suspends 34 foreign teachers (@Verdade)
The Maputo labour inspectorate has suspended 34 teachers and other personnel at the Maputo International College in Sommerschield who did not possess the required permits to be working in the country.
The labour inspectors are getting more energetic – this case follows the labour ministry fining Moza Banco for allegedly illegally employing Portuguese staff. In a country with such a poor/low education rate, refusing to allow teachers to work seems a shortsighted policy – almost as bad as preventing doctors from working – but rules are the rule.
- Today: Part of his third day visiting Switzerland, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi is to be awarded a doctorate Honoris Causa by Geneva’s Diplomatic and International Relations Institute for his efforts to promote peace in the country
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