Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 9 April, 2018.
- Today: Joaquim Chissano gives a speech in Zimpeto, launching celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Frelimo’s second Congress
The best of the weekend’s news:
- Prison guards assault, rape female prisoners in the middle of the night in Maputo
- Marracuene residents oppose landfill proposal in their area
- Niassa conference brings in $104m investment
- Agri firm to relocate animal feed facility from Nampula to Niassa
- Maputo province governor condemns lack of action over poaching
Prison guards assault, rape female prisoners in the middle of the night in Maputo (APREJOR)
Reports have emerged of violence and sexual abuse perpetrated by prison guards on female prisoners in the women’s wing of Maputo’s main prison on the night of 2 April. According to an account released yesterday by prisoners’ advocacy group APREJOR, the ‘rapid reaction’ unit of the prison guards decided to carry out an impromptu check for mobile phones in the middle of the night, which included male guards subjecting women to degrading cavity searches, sexual violence, and rape. Prison governor Jose Machado has since admitted that male guards inserted their hands into female prisoners’ genitals as part of the search. He has apologised to the prisoners for what happened, but no prison guard has been prosecuted – something APREJOR is now calling for.
Niassa conference brings in $104m investment (AIM)
The provincial government of Niassa claims investors committed more than $100 million to the province at a conference last week, with more likely to come as investors analyse the opportunities available. “This is an immediate reaction from those who have already familiarized themselves with Niassa”, said governor Arlindo Chilundo. “We understand that it is not possible for those coming here for the first time to make an immediate commitment. So we are hopeful that in the coming days we will have many more commitments”. He assured investors that the provincial government will work to issue land use titles (known as DUATs) speedily, in order to make investment more secure. “We want to improve the business environment, by removing red tape and the barriers to investment”, the governor declared.
Zitamar has heard from investors in the agriculture sector that Chilundo really is making a difference in Niassa – so these promises of an improved business environment could be worth taking seriously.
Agri firm to relocate animal feed facility from Nampula to Niassa (O País)
AC Matama, a company jointly owned by private equity company African Century and local non-profit investment fund Fundacao Malonda, is planning to relocate its animal feed factory from Nampula to near its farm in Niassa, where it grows the soya and corn that go into the feed. It is also planning to set up a chicken slaughterhouse in Niassa.
Maputo province governor condemns lack of action over poaching (RFI)
The governor of Maputo province, Raimundo Diomba, has condemned the failure of local authorities near the border with South Africa’s Kruger Park to crack down on wildlife poaching. Much of the poaching in Kruger Park is thought to be carried out by Mozambicans crossing the border into the park – three of whom have been killed by rangers so far this year.
While the government may pay lipservice to its commitment to anti-poaching, taking action to address the issue does not seem like a top priorty. Could Diomba’s statement be timed as an attempt to justify the alleged land-grabs by powerful Mozambican and South African interests in the Kruger borderlands revealed last Friday?
Marracuene residents oppose landfill proposal in their area (O País)
Residents of Marracuene protested on Friday against plans to build a landfill in their district, to replace the Hulene landfill which collapsed, killing 17 people, earlier this year.
It appears that the City of Maputo is managing to shift its rubbish problem into the Province of Maputo – but it is going to be difficult to find a site that isn’t going to upset someone. The only solution is to have a well designed and well built facility that causes as little inconvenience to locals as possible, but with state budget so constrained it seems unlikely the government will find the cash required to do this.
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