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Packed week in parliament

The pressure is on to pass the law on the sovereign wealth fund

Parliament pictured in 2017

Good afternoon. Parliament is meeting this week in an extraordinary session to deal with four laws. The session is set to run over just three or four days, which seems hardly enough time for so many important matters. One, which has gained the most media attention, is changing the constitution so that district-level elections do not have to be held next year. This was voted through today along party lines: Frelimo party members voted in favour, while opposition parties Renamo and the MDM voted against.

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But the other one that's been crammed into this session is the law on the sovereign wealth fund, which did not pass last time it made it to parliament, as members decided it needed further work. That extra time to get the law right was surely a good idea. But rushing it through Parliament now, during the winter recess, may not be.

A third draft law, the long-awaited new and liberalised version of the Labour Law has been presented despite a request of Renamo to remove it, claiming that it had got important contributions from party grassroots and did not have enough time to integrate them in a structured proposal. The fourth law deals with changes on the regulating the functioning of the municipalities,

The law on the sovereign fund seems to be being hurried through to placate the International Monetary Fund (IMF). One of the conditions of Mozambique’s loan agreement with the IMF was that the law be submitted to parliament by last December. It seems that there was no strict rule as to when the law was supposed to actually be passed, but the most recent IMF report indicates that the fund expected that to happen in July.

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