Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 31 October 2017.
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The latest from Zitamar News:
COMMENT: Has the quality of Mozambique’s education been sacrificed at the altar of access? – by Sam Jones
Access to education has improved dramatically in Mozambique in recent years – but the quality of that education is cause for serious concern, writes economist Sam Jones.
Controversial ‘Prosavana’ agri project no closer to moving forward
The iconic ‘land-grab’ project remains stuck in the mud as the government says it won’t push it through without meaningful engagement from civil society.
The best of the rest:
Nampula interim mayor given three months’ suspended prison sentence (VoA, MediaFax, O País, CanalMoz)
The interim mayor of Nampula was yesterday given a three-month suspended prison sentence for exceeding his powers by replacing officials appointed by his predecessor, the assassinated Mahamudo Amurane. Despite repeated warnings that he was acting beyond his competences, Tocova reportedly claimed to the judge yesterday that his low level of education meant he hadn’t understood. Tocova will also reportedly face charges relating to the assassination of Amurane.
The speed with which Mozambique’s wheels of justice have turned in this case has caught the attention of many observers – who point out that other cases, which don’t involve prosecuting members of the political opposition, often leave suspects languishing in custody for two years or more. It seems Tocova will remain in position until the by-election which should happen in the coming weeks, but it is unclear now whether he will have to rescind the appointments that led to the guilty verdict. All three main parties have yet to name their candidates for the election.
Work on Pemba Logistics Base to restart next month (Rádio Moçambique)
Work on the Pemba Logistics Base will restart in November, ENH chairman Omar Mithá told a local content conference in Pemba yesterday. China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC) had stopped work on the project this year as it was not getting paid, but Mithá denied Zitamar’s reports that the companies leading the offshore gas projects in the Rovuma Basin didn’t want to use the planned facility.
If the Pemba Logistics Base – mired in controversy since the contract was awarded without a competitive tender to a company previously accused of corruption in Nigeria – does not go ahead, it could mean that the Rovuma gas projects largely pass Pemba by, which would be a huge disappointment to a city where hopes of riches have been high since the gas was found. But insisting that Anadarko and Eni use the base, regardless of whether it really makes practical sense, could delay the projects yet further.
Mozambique and Belarus agree domestic security co-operation (Notícias, AIM)
Belarus’ interior security minister visited Mozambique yesterday, promising co-operation on handling violent demonstrations as well as training officials on anti-money laundering, and ‘obvious and intelligent patrolling’.
The visit comes a week after Mozambique’s Council of Ministers agreed new anti-terrorism legislation, clearly an area that the government is focusing on at the moment.
SISE must prevent situations that imperil sovereignty, Nyusi tells new director (Magazine Independente, MediaFax, Notícias)
President Nyusi yesterday instructed the new head of the secret service organisation SISE, Júlio dos Santos Jane, to prevent situations which endanger the country’s sovereignty, at Jane’s swearing in ceremony. Nyusi also swore in Lázaro Menete as head of the armed forces, Bernardino Rafael as chief of police, and Timóteo Bernardo as Rafael’s deputy.
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