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Ex-SISE head detained, as Chang denied bail; Anadarko signs another SPA

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 15 February, 2019


  • Today: South African court decides whether to grant bail to Manuel Chang
  • Today: Private business association CTA holds a breakfast discussion on the proposed Electricity Law
  • Today: Filipe Nyusi visits the city of Tete

The latest from Zitamar News:

Anadarko Announces 1 mtpa LNG sales agreement with Indian partner
A 1mtpa sale and purchase agreement with India's Bharat Petroleum leaves Anadarko's LNG project needing just 1mtpa more in binding sales agreements before it can proceed to FID

On the Zitamar Live Blog:

Manuel Chang has been denied bail by the Kempton Park court in Johannesburg, according to Marcelo Mosse of Carta de Moçambique

The best of the rest

  • Top SISE officials arrested over ‘hidden debts’ (Carta de Moçambique)
  • Government short of MZN 8 billion to run this year’s elections (O País, Carta de Moçambique, Lusa, CIP Political Process Bulletin)
  • Bank of Mozambique issues more Treasury Bills (O País)
  • Police arrest Islamic ‘recruiters’ in northern Mozambique (Rádio Moçambique)
  • Government to privatise Beira fishing port management (Notícias)

Top SISE officials arrested over ‘hidden debts’ (Carta de Moçambique, MediaFAX)
Antonio Carlos do Rosário, the secret services (SISE) officer who set up ProIndicus, EMATUM, and MAM, was one of five people arrested yesterday in connection with the deals. The others include the former head of SISE, Gregorio Leão; Armando Guebuza's private secretary, Inês Moiane; Teófilo Nhangumele, thought to have acted as a local fixer for Privinvest; and Bruno Tandane, a SISE operative and right hand man of Guebuza’s son Ndambi. Meanwhile in Johannesburg, Manuel Chang should find out today whether he can be released on bail - and if so, for how much.
It’s very hard to believe in the sincerity of these arrests, rather than thinking that they are just providing cover for South Africa to be able to extradite Manuel Chang to Mozambique. If Frelimo wanted to prosecute its people for the illegal debts, it would have done so by now.
Work on the new high security wing of the BO prison in Matola started long before the rumoured plans for these arrests and is, according to prison sources, intended to stop other high-level criminals coming in contact with other prisoners. But Mozambicans are naturally asking why these criminals get such special treatment. Pictures circulating on social media of the deluxe newly-built cells, complete with air-conditioning, large sofas and TVs, have fuelled resentment that those that those suspected of bankrupting the country will live lives in custody that most Mozambicans can still only dream of.

Government short of MZN 8 billion to run this year’s elections (O País, Carta de Moçambique, Lusa, CIP Political Process Bulletin)
Mozambique has called on international donors to help fill a MZN 8 billion ($130m) funding gap for October’s elections, the national elections commission (CNE) said this week. Spokesman Paulo Cuinica said much of the spending on the elections happens around now, and so far they only have 44% of the MZN 14.6bn they need. The CNE needs to set up 156 district or city election commissions for the elections, of which 53 were already set up for last year’s municipal elections. The funding gap is affecting the other 103.
It’s a question of priorities for the government, which could probably find the money in Nyusi’s foreign travel budget - but can bank on the fact that international donors will not allow elections to fail for a lack of funds. However, given CNE’s prominent role in the fraud scandals in last October municipal elections, that might not be such a safe bet.

Bank of Mozambique issues more Treasury Bills (O País)
The Bank of Mozambique will today make the second issuance of treasury bills this year, of MZN 500 million, despite criticism from private enterprise that government borrowing is keeping interest rates high and making it impossible for businesses to access financing.
Earlier this week, the government sold MZN 2 billion worth of treasury bonds, at between 14% and 18% annualised interest rates. There was market appetite for more than MZN 6 billion at those prices.

Police arrest Islamic ‘recruiters’ in northern Mozambique (Rádio Moçambique)
The police have ‘neutralised’ two Mozambican citizens in Niassa and Zambezia provinces who were recruiting young people to attend classes studying the Koran, according to national police chief Bernardino Rafael.
The article doesn’t give any more information than that - leaving the worrying impression that the crackdown on the terrorist insurgency in Cabo Delgado is spreading into a general crackdown on Islam in northern Mozambique, something that would be counterproductive in the radicalisation of young Muslims in the region.

Government to privatise Beira fishing port management (Notícias)
A concession to run Beira’s fishing port should be awarded this year, according to deputy fisheries minister Henriques Bongece. The tender will be launched once the port’s new equipment, installed last year as part of a rehabilitation, has been tested.
The Fishing port and surrounding industrial premises have been rebuilt with funds from Chinese government. It is not clear what the relation - if any - exists between this project and the non-registered Chinese fishing fleet anchored at the ports of Beira and Maputo.

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