Zitamar Daily Briefing, 3 September 2018


Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 3 September, 2018.


  • Today: President Nyusi, finance minister Maleiane, foreign minister Pacheco, energy minister Tonela, and transport minister Mesquita at the FOCAC China-Africa conference in Beijing, until Wednesday
  • Today: First of three days of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Coordinating Council, in Bilene, Gaza

The latest from Zitamar News:

Bank of Mozambique keeps cautious stance ahead of election season
Slowing growth but increasing inflation means the Bank’s monetary policy committee have opted to wait and see, as the election cycle approaches

Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamâ Attack Locations
Zitamar’s interactive map of attacks attributed to Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamâ in Cabo Delgado is updated after every fresh attack

The best of the rest:

  • Chinese partner for $3bn rail-to-port project in Gaza
  • Nacala cement plant signs offtake deal for Vale coal
  • Mozambique police arrest Maputo-Joburg bus hijack suspects
  • Former national prisons director fined for misuse of public funds

Chinese partner for $3bn rail-to-port project in Gaza (Notícias, AIM)
China Railways International Group, has agreed to partner  with former Mozambican foreign minister Leonardo Simão’s company, Muyake, for a $3bn project to build a new port at Chongoene in Gaza, and a railway linking it to the existing Limpopo line between Maputo and the Zimbabwean border at Chicualacuala. The port would be used to export minerals produced in heavy sand mines run by Chinese companies in Gaza, and would also be another stop on the cabotage route up the Mozambican coastline.
Muyake was previously best known for losing out on the deal to build the Pemba Logistics Base, which was controversially given to Nigerian company Orlean Invest. The new port in Gaza, a province rich in precious stones and ivory, will be a short distance north of the provincial capital, Xai-Xai, where China is paying for a new airport to be built. Muyake could be running into a similar controversy as it has in Pemba, since Olivia Machel, head of Moçambique STT, claims the ownership of the Chongoene port project.

Nacala cement plant signs offtake deal for Vale coal (O País)
A new cement plant in Nacala, inaugurated by President Nyusi in May this year, has signed a deal to buy 600 tonnes of thermal coal per year from Vale’s mine in Moatize. The terms of the deal with Chinese-owned Cimentos de Maiaia, situated in the special economic zone at Nacala, were not disclosed. Thermal coal is currently sold on the international market at around $100 per tonne.
There is an opportunity cost for Vale as we understand its export terminal in Nacala can process more coal than the rail line can currently bring it. But 600 tonnes a year won’t make much of a dent in the company’s export volumes, and generates a nice headline in the country hosting its mines.

Mozambique police arrest Maputo-Joburg bus hijack suspects (AIM)
The chief of the Mozambican police, Bernardino Rafael, said on Friday that his force had arrested some people suspected of attacking buses travelling to South Africa from Maputo. The arrests had taken place in South Africa, he said. There have been at least two armed robberies on buses belonging to Majogar and  Intercape companies in recent weeks.

Former national prisons director fined for misuse of public funds (Lusa)
The former national prisons director in Mozambique, Luís Cezerilo, has had an 11-month prison sentence converted into a fine of 6% of 11 minimum salaries for having instructed a member of staff to pay for a friend’s visa out of public funds in 2012. Cezerilo said he would appeal.
The fine looks miniscule – but perhaps that fits the crime, which is also petty. Cezerilo is also a well known sportsman, poet and writer, and (like the recently jailed former justice minister) holds a high office within the security services – so the sentence sends a message to those who think they are above the law.

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