Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 30 April, 2018.
The latest headlines:
Mozambique President blames MPs for frustrating agreement with Renamo (Rádio Moçambique)
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has blamed members of the country’s parliament for slowing down the process of constitutional reform by making “new demands” beyond what Nyusi agreed with the leader of armed opposition party Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama.
See Zitamar’s take on the topic here.
New study says ex-police are training terrorists in Cabo Delgado (MediaFax)
The early findings of a study into the roots of the Cabo Delgado insurgency, being carried out jointly by civil society think tanks IESE and MASC, are that there have been training camps inside and outside Cabo Delgado. In Cabo Delgado, former police officers who have been expelled from the force have trained terrorists in Mocimboa da Praia and in the districts of Montepuez and Macomia, while other insurgents received training from militants linked to Al Shabaab in Tanzania and in the Great Lakes region.
One interesting point here is that Namanhumbir, where Montepuez Ruby Mining has been accused of violating the human rights of local artisanal miners, could have been a key recruitment area for the insurgents – suggesting they are, as expected, playing on feelings of exclusion from Mozambique’s resource wealth. Zitamar’s correspondent in Cabo Delgado confirms that an expelled police officer trained insurgents in Mocimboa da Praia, but denies the existence of a training camp in Macomia.
Dhlakama could re-emerge if military compromise talks go well (RFI)
Renamo’s leader in parliament, Ivone Soares, has told Portuguese radio station RFI that Afonso Dhlakama could emerge from his mountain hideout once negotiations on military reintegration and disarmament are completed, and if certain conditions related to his security are met.
Dhlakama’s dramatic emergence from the Gorongosa mountains in 2014 gave a big boost to his short and sharp electoral campaign that year – and he will be hoping to do the same this time around. If the military compromise talks continue to drag on, he might even stay there another year and time his exit for the more important general and provincial elections – but he is understood to be keen to quit the real discomfort of his mountain refuge by now.
President Nyusi promises the football season will be completed (Notícias, @Verdade)
Nyusi told a rally near Manhica, province of Maputo, on Sunday that the Mozambican football championship, Moçambola, would be able to finish its season, despite airline LAM’s refusal to continue ferrying teams around the country for free.
Nyusi’s rhetoric confirms our suspicion that Moçambola is seen as a valuable tool for the promotion of national unity. For @Verdade, Nyusi’s promise is part of Frelimo’s ‘pre-campaign’ for the municipal elections this year and general elections next year. This is a political football in all senses of the term.
Moza Banco’s former board sanctioned over failures (Savana, AIM)
The eight-person board which led Moza Banco into its liquidity crisis in 2016, requiring it to be rescued by the Bank of Mozambique, have been hit with fines of between MZN 200,000 and MZN 500,000 and bans from holding office in Mozambican banks of between two and three years. Those sanctioned by the Bank of Mozambique include a former governor of the central bank, Prakash Ratilal, who founded Moza Banco. The central bank found the Moza board lacking in policies and procedures for managing operational risks, and policies to guide the management of liquidity. Among many other alleged irregularities, there were also no contingency plans to deal with shortages of liquidity, and no policy to manage conflicts of interest.
At least part of Moza’s woes stemmed from its having bought part of the ‘hidden debt’ which ProIndicus, EMATUM, MAM and eventually the government of Mozambique ended up defaulting on – so it would be somewhat unfair if Ratilal et al are paying the price for that decision, while those behind the deals go unpunished. And it’s a little rich to hear the Bank of Mozambique – which ended up awarding a majority stake in Moza Banco to its own pension fund – accuse the Moza board over conflicts of interest.
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