Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 29 January, 2018.
The latest from Zitamar News:
Attorney General seeks prosecution for Mozambicans behind the ‘hidden debts’
Public prosecutor wants senior civil servants and public company management to be held ‘financially responsible’
The best of the rest:
Lack of toll booths on Maputo ring road costs ‘Maputo Sul’ $13m so far (O Pais)
The failure to erect toll booths on Maputo’s new ring road is costing the government agency in charge of the project, Maputo Sul, 2 million meticais per day in foregone revenue – a total of MZN 788 million since the road opened two years ago. Maputo Sul’s other major project, the Maputo-Katembe bridge, is now slated to open in June.
It’s a Catch-22 situation for Maputo Sul, which – similarly to EMATUM et al – was set up by the government with zero working capital and huge debts, in this case to China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). It is supposed to repay CRBC for the ring road and the bridge to Katembe out of toll revenues – but doesn’t have the money to set up a tolling system. Toll revenues are also supposed to pay for the upkeep of the roads, Zitamar understands – which suggests they could rapidly deteriorate over the coming years if the situation doesn’t change.
Human rights council denounces human rights violations around Montepuez ruby mines (O País, Notícias)
The government’s own human rights watchdog, the national council of human rights (CNDH) has condemned ill-treatment of suspected illegal ruby miners in Namanhumbir, the location of Gemfields’ ruby mine near the town of Montepuez. The suspected ‘garimpeiros’ are held without trial in an overcrowded prison.
The CNDH doesn’t have to publish its findings – it didn’t, for instance, when it investigated the causes of thousands of refugees from Tete fleeing to Malawi in 2016 – so this report must have government blessing. To date, the government has been firmly on the side of the miners – whose local partners are Frelimo elites like retired general Raimundo Pachinuapa and politburo member Ana Rita Sithole. The CNDH did say, however, that it saw no evidence of the torture shown in videos that circulated on social media last year.
Moz-Zim border could open 24-hours a day (O Pais)
The Machipanda border post between Mozambique and Zimbabwe could open 24-hours a day under a new proposal aimed at dealing with growing traffic passing between the two countries.
In other Machipanda news, the Zimbabwean press has discovered that National Railways of Zimbabwe is having to ask its Mozambican counterpart, CFM, to push goods trains as far as Mutare on the Zimbabwean side of the border, as its own locomotives can’t handle the weight.
Marcelino Vilanculos killer gets 24 years in prison (Diario de Mocambique, VoA, AIM)
Amade Mabunda, the man who shot Marcelino Vilanculos, the prosecutor working on kidnapping cases in Maputo, has been sentenced to 24 years in jail. Two other members of the gang were sprung from jail last year. One, the gang’s ringleader, has since been murdered, while the whereabouts of the other remain unknown. Nini Satar, who was jailed until 2014 for ordering the killing of journalist Carlos Cardoso in 2000, has since been accused of involvement with the kidnapping gang and is now on the run from the Mozambican authorities.
© 2018, Zitamar Ltd. Reproduction and dissemination prohibited without written permission.