Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 30 October, 2018.
- Today: Mozambican foreign minister José Pacheco meets his counterpart from Botswana, Unity Dow, in Maputo
- Tomorrow: Start of the three-day Mozambique Gas Summit
The latest from Zitamar News:
Area 4 operator Eni has shunned the controversial Pemba Logistics Base in favour of using existing ports at Nacala and Pemba to support its floating LNG project
The best of the rest:
Constitution Council rejects electoral fraud appeals on procedural grounds, but still to assess final results (Mozambique Political Process Bulletin)
The Constitutional Council has upheld district courts’ rejections of opposition appeals in seven municipalities following this month’s elections, on procedural grounds – but could consider the evidence again when it comes to validate the final results submitted to it by electoral authority the CNE. By law, protests have to be submitted to the district court within 48 hours of the alleged infraction, and in five of the seven cases this deadline was missed. However as Renamo claims Frelimo made intermediate counts in secret – one of the main reasons behind its appeal – the party didn’t know when the clock started ticking.
Some worrying precedents have been set, creating a feeling that Mozambique’s democratic institutions are not fit for purpose. But the Constitutional Council has another chance to convince Mozambicans that their votes do, in fact, count.
Mozambique has fallen two places to 25th in the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, with worsening scores for human rights, human development, and sustainable economic development. The only progress was registered in the ‘Safety and Rule of Law’ category.
Mozambique’s safety and rule of law score is likely to deteriorate when the 2018 results come out next year, due to the insurgency in Cabo Delgado and an increasing awareness that the state is losing control in the north of the country.
Portugal and Mozambique end TAP flight monopoly (Lusa)
Portugal and Mozambique have terminated an agreement signed in 2010 giving Portuguese airline TAP, and – in theory – Mozambique’s LAM a duopoly on flying direct between the two countries. LAM is still not able to fly to the European Union, however, meaning TAP has had an effective monopoly. The two countries will also now allow flights to arrive at airports outside of each country’s capital.
Mozambique’s air travel sector is being progressively liberalised, with the entry of new players into the domestic market too. Journalist Marcelo Mosse today published a call for LAM to be given protection from competition from Ethiopian Airlines, but if the authorities want to promote business and tourism they should prioritise reliable and efficient transport around the country over economic nationalism.
State-owned Maputo Sul, set up to manage the Maputo-Katembe bridge and Maputo ring road projects, is seeking a private sector partner to run the two roads under concessions..
The roads are supposed to be funded by tolls – but Maputo Sul does not have the money to build the toll booths on the ring road so needs to bring in a private partner to make that basic investment.
One proposal on the table is for CRBC, the Chinese company that built the roads, to collect the toll fees in order to get repaid and to maintain the roads. It is expected to take 72 years for the company to recoup its investment in the bridge at a fee that would be acceptable to bridge’s users.
Police bust fuel theft attempt in Matola (O Pais)
The police frustrated an attempted theft of 4,500 litres of fuel at state-owned fuel company Petromoc’s ocean terminal in Matola on Sunday night, arresting six people, including a guard of the storage facility.
Theft has been a frequent problem at the fuel terminal in Matola, and in 2015 led to an explosion which killed 17 and caused huge damage to the terminal. Fuel theft is also taking place at Maputo’s army barracks, where military officers are selling access to civilians to fill up their cars.
- Forestry company Obtala is to change its name to WoodBois, the name of the West African timber company it bought last year. It plans to raise $3.5 million in new share capital, promote WoodBois’ leaders to its board, and seek a strategic partner or spin out its Tanzanian agriculture business
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