Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 3 August, 2018.
- Today: Final day of an IMF mission to Mozambique, headed by new chief of mission Ricardo Velloso
- Today: Frelimo announces its heads of lists for municipal elections scheduled for 10 October
The latest from Zitamar News:
Zitamar’s newsdesk is on holiday this week
…but the Mozambique Daily Briefing continues as usual.
Today’s top headlines:
- Mozambique cooperates with neighbouring countries to combat Cabo Delgado insurgency
- Mwiriti confirms existence of gold in Cabo Delgado
- Hundreds of Inhambane teachers unpaid since February
- Venâncio Mondlane accused of defamation
- Manuel Bissopo challenged as head of Renamo’s Beira list
Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi confirmed yesterday in Tete that his government is cooperating with several countries against the Islamist insurgents that have been attacking northern Mozambique since last October. Nyusi said that cooperation agreements are already in place with Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and South Africa, and that he will try to conclude an agreement with Malawian president Peter Mutharika this week.
Nyusi didn’t elaborate about the nature of the cooperation, but it is clear that the governments involved view the insurgency as a transnational problem. Certainly the refugee crisis it is generated is international—110 families have fled Palma for Mtwara, Tanzania. Also yesterday, a South African businessman was reported shot and kidnapped from a Palma hotel. Accounts differ as to whether the man was taken by criminals or authorities—MediaFax reports sources placing the man in the Mueda hospital, but police have not confirmed.
Mwiriti confirms existence of gold in Cabo Delgado (O País)
Mozambican mining company Mwiriti, which has been exploring for precious stones in Cabo Delgado province, says it has found gold in Montepuez district. There is no word yet on the size of the reserve, but Mwriti is seeking $100 million to install processing units at the site by April 2019.
Mwiriti is majority owned by Raimundo Pachinuapa, a major Frelimo figure and liberation war veteran who is also a partner with London-based Gemfields in Montepuez Ruby Mining, which has been accused of human rights abuses on its concession in Montepuez. The town already has a wild west feel to it – an actual gold rush would ratchet things up even further.
Hundreds of Inhambane teachers unpaid since February (DW)
About 450 teachers in Inhambane province have not received their salaries since February. Governor Daniel Chapo blamed the delay on a technical problem with the province’s payment system, but teachers said they are furious that the province has not sorted the problem out by now.
This news follows revelations this week that civil service salaries in general have been delayed this month [see Zitamar Daily Briefing, 2 August 2018]– possibly signalling a fiscal crisis for the government.
Venâncio Mondlane accused of defamation (Marcelo Mosse)
Renamo’s candidate for mayor of Maputo, Venâncio Mondlane, was notified yesterday that he stands accused of defamation, relating to an undisclosed 2017 incident. According to journalist Marcelo Mosse, Mondlane was not questioned by the Maputo City Prosecutor before being declared a defendant.
It is not yet known who Mondlane’s accuser is or the evidence against him, but some observers see the charge as a politically motivated attack against a potentially strong opposition candidate in 10 October municipal elections.
Manuel Bissopo challenged as head of Renamo’s Beira list (Savana)
Renamo secretary-general and Beira mayoral candidate Manuel Bissopo is being challenged by members of the local party organization in Beira who want to see Geraldo Carvalho, a former Renamo member who is now returning to the party from the MDM, head the local list. After Savana initially reported the situation, the party dismissed provincial political delegate Albano Balaunde, accusing him of organizing the anti-Bissopo forces.
Carvalho is technically still an MP with the MDM party, and is understood to be leaving because his ambitions in Beira were always overshadowed by the current mayor and MDM president, Daviz Simango. There are rumours that he met with the late Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama when Dhlakama was alive, and that Dhlakama promised him the place atop Remamo’s Beira list but died before he could deliver. But Zitamar has also heard that Carvalho will be Renamo’s candidate for the Sofala governorship, while Bissopo – as (they hope) sitting Beira mayor – will run for President of the Republic.
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