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Arrests made over Renamo Military Junta; Ruby miner late with Montepuez complaints mechanism

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 17 January 2020


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  • Today: Provincial assemblies and governors are sworn in

The latest from Zitamar News:

Gemfields late delivering complaints service for Montepuez mine neighbours
Law firm Leigh Day, which forced Gemfields into a multi-million dollar payout to locals, says it has now been barred from operating in Mozambique

The best of the rest

  • Former Renamo MP arrested over Junta links (CanalMoz, Savana)
  • Momade not interested in talks with Nhongo (DW)
  • UK announces £75,000 support for DDR process (Notícias)
  • Constitutional Council head seen ‘cheerleading’ at Nyusi golf tournament (CanalMoz)
  • Rains kill eight in Niassa and two in Zambézia (A Verdade)
  • Production starts at new CDM brewery (CanalMoz)

Former Renamo MP arrested over Junta links (CanalMoz, Savana)
Sandura Ambrósio, a former Renamo MP who openly opposed the leadership of current party president Ossufo Momade, has been arrested on charges of conspiring against the state for allegedly collaborating with the Renamo Military Junta, led by Mariano Nhongo, whom the Attorney General's Office says is responsible for attacks in central Mozambique. Other Renamo figures like Ivone Soares, José Manteigas, Manuel Bissopo and António Muchanga have been questioned by the Attorney General’s office for allegedly supporting the Junta.
Reports are emerging this morning of the arrest of another alleged Junta collaborator, Mussacarua João Simango, in Beira.

Momade not interested in talks with Nhongo (DW)
The President of Renamo, Ossufo Momade, has told DW that he is not interested in talking to Junta leader Mariano Nhongo, calling him a deserter and saying that the Mozambican state should hold him accountable for his actions. Momade guaranteed that the weapons used in the Junta’s attacks don't come from Renamo, saying Nhongo "does not have any access to Renamo's weapons.
Momade’s position is predictable, but a solution for the “Nhongo issue” should be found in tripartite way in order to deal effectively with the Junta’s access to weapons and the logistics of bringing former guerrillas out of the bush - as well as the more political issue of trying to accommodate disgruntled elements within Renamo. Many party members close to former president Afonso Dhlakama have been feeling increasingly disenfranchised following the Renamo Congress in January 2019.

UK announces £75,000 support for DDR process (Notícias)
The British Government yesterday pledged £75,000 (about MZN6m) to support the demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) process of Renamo fighters. A statement from the British Embassy in Maputo said the Permanent Secretary and Head of Diplomatic Services at Britain’s foreign ministry, Simon McDonald, visited Maputo this week to share reflections on the history of the United Kingdom with regard to conflict resolution and how the international community can support the Mozambican peace process.
A lack of funding is holding up progress in DDR, which in turn is strengthening the hand of dissidents like Nhongo who claim Renamo leader Ossufo Momade has sold out the guerrillas. Mirko Manzoni, the former Swiss ambassador to Mozambique who continues to lead the peace process for the international community, needs to raise at least $3 million from donors in order to resume the DDR process. The EU has committed $2 million, but Switzerland itself is among those yet to join the financing effort, Zitamar understands.

Constitutional Council head seen ‘cheerleading’ at Nyusi golf tournament (CanalMoz)
The President of the Constitutional Council, responsible for confirming the election results and investing Filipe Nyusi as President on Wednesday, was among officials Nyusi brought to the ‘Presidential Golf Tournament’ in Maputo yesterday to cheer him on in pursuit of the MZN 500,000 first prize. The presence of Lucia Ribeiro as a Nyusi ‘cheerleader’ violates the constitutional principle of separation of powers, CanalMoz argues — a constitution that it is her responsibility to uphold.

Rains kill eight in Niassa and two in Zambézia (A Verdade)
Heavy rains have caused the death of eight people in the districts of Ngauma, Chimbonila, Mandimba and Cuamba in Niassa province; about 1,200 houses were partially or totally destroyed and two hospitals were also affected, said the provincial delegation of the National Institute for Disaster Management. A further two people have died due to house collapses in Maganja da Costa district, Zambézia province.

Production starts at new CDM brewery (CanalMoz)
Cervejas de Moçambique (CDM), the Mozambican subsidiary of brewing giant AB InBev, ran the first production test at its new factory in Marracuene district, Maputo province, this week. The company has now four breweries across the country, one in Beira, Nampula, Maputo city and now Marracuene.
The factory is a direct response to a new plant nearby under the flag of Heineken. Heineken beer is not yet being produced locally but a local brand, Txilar, is hitting sales of CDM brands such as Laurentina and 2M. Beer sales are one of the key sources of tax revenue in the country.

Company Announcements

  • Gemfields has announced plans to list on London’s alternative stock exchange, AIM, on 14 February (full announcement)
  • The Total Foundation has joined the World Bank-administered Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), to assist African nations to improve their road safety data and information systems and expand the use of data for better targeting of road safety (full announcement)

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