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Zitamar Daily Briefing, 8 August 2018

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Zitamar Daily Briefing, 8 August 2018

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 8 August, 2018.

Agenda

  • Today: Renamo interim leader Ossufo Momade holds a press teleconference, speaking to journalists in Maputo from his Gorongosa base
  • Tomorrow: Renamo to announce its mayoral candidates for municipal elections on 10 October
  • Tomorrow: Mozambique’s Chamber of Commerce hosts its first international conference on oil and gas, in Maputo

The latest from Zitamar News:

Mozambique awards concession contracts for six oil and gas blocks

The contracts are the result of lengthy negotiations between oil companies and the government since the blocks were awarded in October 2015

Mozambique borrows $15.5m from domestic banks in T-bond auction

The Mozambique government has returned to domestic financial markets for the first time since a failed auction in June

The best of the rest:

  • MDM demands publication of demilitarization MoU between government and Renamo
  • Manica, Niassa provincial governors dismissed
  • Chimoio administrator’s house robbed
  • Freight rail grows in north
  • Mondlane: Lawsuit aims to “denigrate” my image

MDM demands publication of demilitarization MoU between government and Renamo (Lusa, MediaFax)

Daviz Simango, head of the Movimento Democrático de Moçambique (MDM) party, demanded yesterday that the memorandum of understanding on demilitarization signed by Renamo and the Mozambican government be released to the public. Simango argued that releasing the document would help settle concerns in the business community over the stability of the peace process.

Simango’s demand for transparency even as his party is being swallowed up by Renamo demonstrates how decentralization reforms promoting the Frelimo-Renamo duopoly in Mozambican politics—which Simango memorably termed “Frenamo”—serves the government as well as it serves Renamo. Simango has less leverage than ever to force the government to explain its actions in its most crucial issue area: relations with Renamo.

Manica, Niassa provincial governors dismissed (Press release)

President Filipe Nyusi has dismissed the governor of Manica province, Alberto Mondlane, and the governor of Niassa, Arlindo Chilundo.

There is currently a governor vacancy in the province of Sofala after Helena Taipo was appointed ambassador to Angola. Mondlane, a former minister of the interior, is thought unlikely to get another big post, but Chilundo is seen as having done a good job in Niassa, and so could be handed the more important province (and opposition stronghold) of Sofala.

CDM owner plans to build another brewery in Mozambique (Reuters)

AB InBev, the owner of the SAB Miller brewing portfolio which includes Cervejas de Moçambique, is planning to build another brewery in Mozambique, the company’s Africa zone president Ricardo Tadeu told journalists in Johannesburg yesterday. It will help the company keep pace with the Mozambican beer market which is growing at 20% a year – and with Heineken, which is building a $100m brewery at Bobole, north of Maputo.

Brewers were given a tax break last year in a move apparently aimed at incentivising the Heineken investment. As newspaper @Verdade likes to point out, the price of beer has barely budged in recent years despite periods of high inflation.

Freight rail grows in north (AIM, Notícias)

The volume of rail freight transported by Mozambican company Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte (CDN) grew 5% year-on-year in the first half of 2018, going from 212,000 tonnes to 221,000 tonnes. In the same period, the cargo volume handled by the Port of Nacala grew 8%, to 941,000 tonnes.

According to the company, the growth is a result of the recovering Mozambican economy, a corresponding increase in imports, and the start of graphite exports from the Balama mine through the Nacala port.

Chimoio administrator’s house robbed (O País)

Unknown armed assailants broke into the home of the administrator of Chimoio city, Manica province, yesterday morning, stealing over $1,700 in meticais and some mobile phones. Police have not said how many robbers there were or if they have any clues as to the robbers’ identities.

The robbery took place in an upper class neighborhood of Chimoio, in a residence protected by police and merely 10 meters from the command of the police’s VIP Protection Unit, whose remit presumably includes the administrator of Chimoio. Police say they are investigating how such a breakdown in security was possible.

Venâncio Mondlane: Lawsuit aims to “denigrate” my image (DW)

Renamo’s recently-nominated candidate for Maputo mayor, Venâncio Mondlane, said in an interview yesterday that the lawsuit filed against him last week for slander and defamation is politically motivated and aims to “denigrate” his image. Mondlane said that the lawsuit is a repeat of a tactic used against him in his 2013 run for Maputo mayor when he was with MDM.

The identity of Mondlane’s accuser is not yet known, but Mondlane speculates that the case is related to his criticism of last year’s sale of a soccer field in the suburbs of Maputo.

© 2018, Alexandre Nhampossa. All rights reserved.

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