Mozambique Media Monitoring, 12 September 2019

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The service can be customised to each client’s needs and interests — including any mention of your company, for instance, or a particular aspect of Mozambican life or topical news theme. 

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Agenda

  • Ending today: Former Liberation Movements Summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

  • Today: UN launches the revised Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Mozambique. Indy Village Hotel, Maputo, 10:00

  • Today: The Comité Nacional de Resposta e Reconciliação (CNRR), a multi-faith organisation focused on combating election-related violence, will present its first report on the election campaign in Mozambique. Hotel Tivoli, Maputo, 9:00

  • Today: EDM to sign a power sale agreement with Zimbabwean utility ZESA

  • Today: Workshop on legal regulation of computer applications in Mozambique, hosted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher, Technical and Professional Education in Maputo. 9:00

  • Saturday: Former President Joaquim Chissano attends the funeral of Robert Mugabein Harare, Zimbabwe

  • Saturday: Launch of the European Union electoral observation mission, led by European Parliament member Nacho Sánchez Amor. Hotel Southern Sun, Maputo, 9:00


Top Stories

Russian troops seen in Cabo Delgado (Stratfor)
Russian soldiers are reportedly collaborating with Mozambique's security services in several locations in the north of the country, including the port towns of Palma and Nacala and the inland town of Mueda, likely for the purpose of training local forces and supporting them with intelligence and logistics. Over the past year, Moscow and Maputo have signed a variety of military cooperation agreements, including pacts on training support. Stratfor considers that the deepening cooperation between the two countries is motivated by Russian desire for access to Mozambican oil and gas.
Russia’s military has been spotted arriving in Nacala in recent days. They will not be in Mozambique to participate in combat — Russia does not formally send troops to take part in foreign conflicts — but rumours abound that the Wagner Group, a private mercenary company with links to Vladimir Putin, is the Russian government’s proxy on the ground in Cabo Delgado.

Maleiane: Mozambique can’t walk away from ‘good faith’ creditors (Reuters)
Mozambique will continue to negotiate debt restructuring with creditors, despite a ruling that a government-guaranteed $850 million Eurobond issued by the state fishing company Ematum in 2013 was illegal, finance minister Adriano Maleiane said at the FT Summit yesterday. “The government respects the deliberations of our institutions,” Maleiane said. “The decision of the Constitutional Council is a decision that cannot be overturned. It has to be respected and we are respecting it.” The restructuring, he said, was meant to only repay lenders who acted in good faith. “The government cannot tell bona fide creditors that ‘I will not pay back.’ I can’t tell the creditors that I am awaiting the payment of the money taken by those who contracted the loans,” Maleiane said. “The Attorney General Office has the task of pursuing the $850 million on those who acted in bad faith,” he added.
This appears to be the definitive line from the government: It will not walk away from creditors who bought Ematum notes, or the eurobond sold in 2016 to restructure Ematum, in good faith. It is trying to exclude ‘bad faith’ creditors — those who knew of wrongdoing in any of the Ematum, ProIndicus, and MAM deals — from the restructure, and ultimately wants to recoup all of its losses from Credit Suisse, Privinvest, and anyone else who was involved in putting the deals together; but the government’s view is that the burden in the meantime should fall on Mozambique rather than on ‘good faith’ bondholders. It is, however, walking away from the ProIndicus loan — suggesting it believes that anyone who bought that syndicated loan from Credit Suisse was party to wrongdoing.

16 dead in Frelimo rally stampede (Mediafax, Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, O País)
At least 16 people died in a panic and crush as people tried to leave a rally with President Filipe Nyusi in Nampula yesterday afternoon, according to Mediafax. Other sources put the death toll at 10 or 12. The press was prevented from capturing any kind of image and audio by Frelimo members. Eufrasio Gilberto, cameraman for HAQ Television, was threatened with a gun and was forced to hand over his camera. Leonardo Gimo of TV Sucesso was forced to delete all his pictures. 85 people were injured and treated at Nampula Central Hospital.

Maleiane: Sovereign wealth fund will be ready by 2024 (Lusa)
Mozambique will set up a sovereign wealth fund (SWF), finance minister Adriano Maleiane told the FT Summit yesterday, but it remains to be decided how much gas revenue will be put into it. That conversation is being led by the Bank of Mozambique and should be concluded by 2024, he said. Maleiane rejected the idea of distributing the money to the population, saying it had to be invested in diversifying the economy and creating job opportunities.
Supporters of an SWF in Mozambique will be reassured to hear the finance minister confirm it is going to happen. His ministry has been notably less enthusiastic than the Bank of Mozambique about the idea — understandably, as it will represent a transfer of money and influence to the central bank. It is now important to ensure that the fund is set up before the money starts rolling in; 2024 seems like the absolute latest in order to do that effectively, considering that Eni’s Coral FLNG project should start operations in 2022. But in reality, it will be at least 2030 until the project’s start generating any real revenue to Mozambique. 


Peace and Security

Cabo Delgado insurgents attack town and military camp, killing nine (Mozambique Political Process Bulletin)
Cabo Delgado insurgents attacked Quiterajo town and a nearby camp of the police’s Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR) in Macomia on Tuesday night, killing 7 UIR members and burning an armoured car and two other vehicles. Three groups of insurgents attacked the town at around 7pm, burning the health post and 70 houses, with one person burned to death inside their house. A trader's truck was attacked and goods stolen. Two young men were kidnapped. The primary school was vandalised. Earlier on Tuesday, at 6am, a group of 10 insurgents attacked a group of farmers in their fields in Miangueleua, Chitunda, Muidumbe district, 70 km inland from Quiterajo. One person was killed with a machete and one was shot and injured; two women were kidnapped.

Nhongo threatens retaliation if attacks on Junta continue (CanalMoz)
Renamo military junta leader Mariano Nhongo said yesterday that if the defence and security forces insist on attacking their positions and if the Frelimo party and the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) continue to detain and harass opposition party members, the Renamo Military Junta will give orders to attack convoys of both Frelimo and defence and security forces.

Renamo guerrillas in Inhambane reject Momade leadership (Deutsche Welle)
A group of Renamo guerrillas in Inhambane province, led by Colonel João Machava, are refusing to demilitarise and have questioned the authority of Ossufo Momade as leader of the party. Machava claims to have 300 men under his command at the Matokose base in Funhalouro district.
Renamo’s malcontents in Funhalouro have made their feelings known before. It’s unclear if they’re formally part of the Renamo Military Junta led by Mariano Nhongo, but their sentiments are certainly in line with his.


Democracy and Governance

  • 16 dead in Frelimo rally stampede (Mediafax, Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, O País) — see Top Stories

  • Election campaign: Frelimo taking teachers out of school, denying access to water (Mozambique Political Process Bulletin)

  • Renamo promises lower taxes and electricity prices (AIM)

  • Nyusi stresses agricultural development (AIM)

  • Renamo blocked from campaigning in Boane (AIM)

  • MDM’s Simango announces his five pillars for government (AIM)

  • MISA concerned by journalist threats (MISA)

Election campaign: Frelimo taking teachers out of school, denying access to water (Mozambique Political Process Bulletin)
State officials, mostly school principals and teachers, are being forced to leave their jobs to campaign for Frelimo. Empty classrooms and many teachers and hundreds of students without classes is a picture across the country, according to the Bulletin.
Renamo campaigners in Homoine, Inhambane, were prevented from drinking water from a fountain by Frelimo supporters on Tuesday, allegedly because the water supply system was built by Frelimo. As the Renamo supporters approached the water pump for a drink, they found the handle locked and a Frelimo member saying he had been instructed by his superiors to prevent them from having access to ‘Frelimo's water’.

Renamo promises lower taxes and electricity prices (AIM)
Renamo leader Ossufo Momade on Tuesday promised that a future Renamo government will reduce taxes and cut electricity prices.  Speaking in Marracuene, north of Maputo, Momade told an election rally that Renamo “has a good project to govern our country”, which includes wage rises, lower energy prices, lower Value Added Tax (VAT), employment for young people, and the fight against corruption. He also denounced an alleged shortage of medicines in the pharmacies of public hospitals, which he said is the result of corruption.  

Nyusi stresses agricultural development (AIM)
President Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday promised that 10% of the state budget will be allocated to agriculture if he wins a second term. “This means making agriculture an intensive activity”, declared Nyusi at a rally in Gurue district, Zambezia province. Currently, agriculture and rural development together get 11% of public expenditure, similar to health, with 10.6%, and about half what is spent on education (21.5%). At a rally later in the day at Alto Molocue, Nyusi said more than MZN 120 billion ($2bn) should be invested in the development of Mozambican agriculture over the next five years.

Renamo blocked from campaigning in Boane (AIM)
Antonio Muchanga, Renamo’s candidate for governor of Maputo province, on Wednesday threatened to sue the mayor of the municipality of Boane for blocking access to the municipal market. Renamo leader Ossufo Momade was visiting Boane in his election campaign, but Frelimo supporters used concrete blocks, trucks and other construction vehicles to block the road to the market to stop Renamo campaigning among vendors and their clients — and then stood by their barricades, handing out Frelimo T-shirts. 

MDM’s Simango announces his five pillars for government (AIM)
MDM leader and presidential candidate Daviz Simango has announced the five pillars of his proposed government, namely: 1) peace, democracy, and national cohesion; 2) economy and job opportunities; 3) infrastructure; 4) development and social equality; 5) reinforcing Mozambique’s position in the world.

MISA concerned by journalist threats (MISA)
The Mozambique chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has voiced concern regarding threats suffered by journalists in Mozambique during the electoral process. Two cases have been reported in Nampula where different journalists on different days have been forbidden to record Frelimo and Renamo’s electoral campaigns.  


Development and Health

Six months on from Cyclone Idai, survivors fear “dying from hunger” (Save the Children)
The combined crises of cyclones Idai and Kenneth and a subsequent drought have destroyed crops, seeds and devastated people’s means of living, according to Save the Children — who are calling for an extra $160m from donors to feed hungry families. Nearly 2 million people in Mozambique are expected to be severely food insecure in the coming months, more than twice the number in the same time in 2018 — with an estimated 67,500 children already suffering from acute malnutrition and need treatment.

INGC says aid is still far below post-cyclone needs (Carta de Moçambique)
Mozambique needs significantly more support to deal with the post-cyclone reconstruction, the head of National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC)  told the special representative of the UN’s secretary general, Mami Mizutori, on a visit to Beira this week. August Maita called on the UN to help with raising funds and building institutional capacity to respond to these disasters.


Energy and extractive industries

Airlink adds another Joburg-Pemba flight (Aviation Tribune)
South Africa’s Airlink has confirmed that it will increase the frequency of its service between Johannesburg and Pemba, in response to market demand. From 24 September 2019 Airlink will add a Tuesday flight to its weekly schedule, meaning it flies the route every day except Sunday.


Economy

  • Maleiane: Sovereign wealth fund will be ready by 2024 (Lusa) -  see Top Stories

  • South African riots could cause shortages and inflation in Maputo (AIM)

  • Economic growth continues to fall (A Verdade)

  • Maleiane: Mozambique will be middle-income by 2035 (AIM)

  • UK signs trade agreement with Mozambique and SACU (UK Government)

South African riots could cause shortages and inflation in Maputo (AIM)
Xenophobic riots in South Africa are damaging the businesses of Mozambican informal traders and could lead to shortages in the markets of Maputo, reports the independent television station, STV. Informal traders cross the border regularly and bring South African produce, mostly vegetables and fruit, back to Mozambique, notably to the country’s largest wholesale market, in the outlying Maputo neighbourhood of Zimpeto. “Now we’re afraid to go to South Africa, because they are banning vehicles of foreigners from circulating,'' one trader at Zimpeto told STV. “There will be a shortage of goods and those who still have them will increase the prices”. Some traders, however, are now opting to buy goods directly from South African farms rather than from markets in the cities. “The situation on the farms is better”, trader Julia Ines said. “The problem is in the cities such as Johannesburg and Pretoria.”

Economic growth continues to fall (A Verdade)
The pace of economic growth fell for the third consecutive quarter in Q2 2019, to 2.3%, data from the national statistics office shows.

Maleiane: Mozambique will be middle-income by 2035 (AIM)
Mozambique will become a middle-income country by 2035 through investing in education and infrastructure, and reducing imports of consumer goods, among other measures in the 2015-2035 National Economic Development Strategy, finance minister Adriano Maleiane told the FT Summit yesterday.

UK signs trade agreement with Mozambique and SACU (UK Government)
The UK initialled an Economic Partnership Agreement with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique (SACU+M) on Tuesday, that will allow businesses to keep trading freely after the UK leaves the European Union. The initialling  marks the end of formal trade discussions and the UK-SACU+M Economic Partnership Agreement will be subject to final checks before it is formally signed. Trade between the UK and SACU+M nations was worth £9.7 billion last year.

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