Zitamar Daily Briefing, 9 August 2018


Zitamar Daily Briefing, 9 August 2018

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 9 August, 2018.


  • Today: Renamo to announce its mayoral candidates for municipal elections on 10 October
  • Tomorrow: President Nyusi opens a conference in Pemba on local business opportunities from the gas mega-projects

The latest from Zitamar News:

Media licencing fees a ‘blatant attack on press freedom’ in Mozambique

International press freedom organisations condemn “unwarranted and unprecedented fees” that raise fears of crackdown on press freedom

Mozambique debt proposal would violate government’s position on gas

Bondholders want a share in government gas revenues – something the finance ministry has previously said it won’t do

The best of the rest:

Renamo leader provides demilitarisation roadmap (DW, VoA, Magazine Independente)

Renamo’s interim leader, Ossufo Momade, addressed a press conference in Maputo by phone yesterday from Gorongosa. He said Renamo members would join the Mozambique police force once agreement had been reached within the interior ministry on exactly how they would be integrated; that others would join the armed forces; and that the rest would hand over their arms to a specific entity created for that purpose.

Progress is definitely being made – and Ossufo’s comments, while on the one hand containing nothing much that’s new, do restore hope that some disarmament can happen by the time of the local elections in two months’ time. Any disarmament is inevitably a facade, though – Renamo will surely retain some arms cache, whatever happens.

AfDB will only lend Mozambique $81m until 2020 due to excess debt (Lusa)

Mozambique’s excessive debts mean the African Development Bank (AfDB) will only lend the country $81m up until the end of next year, according to a strategy document seen by Lusa, which says Mozambique can’t access the sovereign funding window due to its unsustainable public debt.

Mozambique’s own Mateus Magala is about to become the AfDB’s first ever Lusophone vice president – a move the government in Maputo hoped would get it more leverage with the bank. However, it looks like its internal rules could mean Mozambique has to get its debt onto a sustainable footing before it can count on more help from there.

Nyusi names governors for Sofala, Manica and Niassa (MediaFax, O País, AIM)

President Nyusi yesterday named Alberto Mondlane the new governor of Sofala, a few hours after removing him from the same post in Manica. Nyusi also appointed Francisca Tomás, a Frelimo member of parliament, as the new governor of Niassa, and Manuel Alberto, a director at the Ministry of Public Administration, to take Mondlane’s old post in Manica.

We got this one wrong yesterday, saying that Mondlane is unlikely to get another senior post. Competence is often not the key criteria for appointments in Frelimo; intra-party connections are more important. Mondlane is a big figure in Frelimo and recently married another, Alcinda Abreu, who is a member of the Political Commission. The dismissed governor of Niassa, who has been noted for his competence, is yet to be reassigned.

Júlio João Pio named new deputy minister of industry and trade (Rádio Moçambique)

Nyusi also named Júlio João Pio the new deputy minister of industry and trade yesterday, filling the vacancy left in December when Ragendra de Sousa was promoted to minister – himself replacing Max Tonela who was made minister of energy.

We don’t know much yet about Pio, beyond an appearance in the government gazette in 2014 saying he had set up an engineering and construction company called Tuvenant.

US Embassy warns of fraudulent tender scam (statement)

The US Embassy in Mozambique has warned Mozambicans not to fall for “an ongoing tender scam using our name to fraudulently request sample items or money”, using the name of “Mr. Kerry Collins” and the email addresses usa@embassytenders.com, info@embassytenders.com, info@embassytenders.com, or kerry@embassytenders.com.

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