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Is Celso Correia working for his boss, or for himself?

The powerful agriculture minister has been tasked with delivering total victory for Frelimo in the up-coming municipal elections. That would strengthen the hand of his boss, Filipe Nyusi — but also strengthen Celso Correia's own hand

Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo © Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon, and welcome back from the long weekend. We are now in election season, and the analysis coming from CIP and Joseph Hanlon, who have together reported on every election Mozambique has ever had, is that Frelimo has demanded its activists produce a win in every single municipality. How they do so is up to them.

Leader article continues below for Pro subscribers. Subscribers to the Zitamar News tier can read the full leader article here.

The latest from Zitamar News:

At least five government troops killed in Mandava attack
After several long weeks of inactivity among the insurgents, violence is picking up again along the Messalo river.
A major battle took place over the weekend in Muidumbe district, further evidence that the conflict is coming back after a lull during the rain and fasting season.

The man in charge of the campaign is Celso Correia, nominally the agriculture minister, but that part of his portfolio is likely to take up less and less of his time over the next 18 months. Because after he delivers Frelimo a resounding victory in this October’s municipal elections, attention will turn to reelecting a Frelimo president. And a resounding victory would strengthen the hand of the president who oversaw it — and, of course, the campaign manager.

First an operational note: the next stage of Zitamar’s new tiered paywall strategy starts today. Subscribers on the new, cheaper ‘Zitamar News’ tier will receive the whole of this leader article, and everything else in the ‘top half’ of the Daily; but we say goodbye to free subscribers at this point. But not before highlighting one other leader published last week and which was not sent to some of you, in error:

Did Boaventura Mucipo jump, or was he pushed?
The former TV anchor appears to have been punished for platforming views opposing Nyusi’s potential bid for a third presidential term.

Now, on with today’s leader.

The dream of a third term for President Nyusi is alive and well, despite Nyusi’s failure to persuade the respected and independent CRED commission to go near the issue.

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