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Mozambicans injured by missiles fired from Tanzania; Government violated truce, says Military Junta leader as peace talks fail

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 2 November, 2020


  • Tomorrow: Morning conference analysing the Bank of Mozambique’s proposal for a Sovereign Fund, organised by IMD — Polana Hotel, Maputo (see Tweet of the Day
  • Tomorrow: Council of Ministers’ weekly meeting

The latest from Zitamar News:

Mozambicans injured by missiles fired from Tanzania
At least 12 people have been injured by missiles fired from Tanzania into Mozambique in the last week

Insurgents attack Muidumbe villages as IS claims Tanzania incursion
Insurgents have attacked and burned villages in the Cabo Delgado district of Muidumbe this morning, and the Islamic State has apparently claimed responsibility for attacks in Tanzania

The best of the rest:

  • Government violated truce, says Military Junta leader as peace talks fail (VOA)
  • More than 95,000 refugees arrive in Pemba (Notícias)
  • Military help for Mozambique must be regional decision - Zimbabwe (Xinhua)
  • Petition to release Nigerian arrested in Cabo Delgado (The Nation)
  • Consortium submits application to build Rovuma-Gauteng gas pipeline (Diário Económico)
  • Malawi and Mozambique sign memorandum for construction of railway line (Rádio Moçambique)
  • President’s brother Albino Nyusi dies (Rádio Moçambique)

Government violated truce, says Military Junta leader as peace talks fail (VOA)
Negotiations between the government and the Renamo Military Junta, the dissident armed faction of opposition party Renamo, have collapsed, the faction’s leader Mariano Nhongo said on Saturday. President Filipe Nyusi announced a week-long truce last week to allow the Junta to hold talks with the government to end the armed attacks in central Mozambique. However, Nhongo accused the government of violating the truce by abducting and killing his members, adding that the truce was a trick by the government to harass them without retaliation. Nhongo said that the group did not want any money, and that in future negotiations, the government should disclose the petition sent by the group in September 2019, to demonstrate that Nyusi had gone back on promises made to Renamo previously. The government had previously agreed to send Renamo guerillas to all the branches of the Defence and Security Forces, Nhongo said, but the deal had been ignored after the death of Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama and was scrapped when the government signed a new deal with his successor, Ossufo Momade.

More than 95,000 refugees in Pemba (Notícias)
Over 95,000 refugees have arrived in Pemba, the capital city of Cabo Delgado province, since fighting began in October 2017, escaping a rise in jihadist attacks elsewhere in the province. 9,960 arrived in the week of 19-26 October, and the mayor of Pemba, Florete Motarua, said most of them came from Ibo Island and the districts of Quissanga and Macomia. New villages are being created in the districts around Pemba to provide shelter for the victims to resume their normal lives, Matarua said. He did not specify the number of existing plots of land, but insisted that there was enough space to be allocated as needed. Motarua said that other displaced people were going to Niassa, Nampula and Zambézia provinces.
Local government officials have previously said refugees need to be relocated to other districts, since there is not enough space in Pemba to deal with all people coming to the provincial capital. Motuara’s statement has more solidarity with the affected parts of the province, promising them space in the city.

Military help for Mozambique must be regional decision - Zimbabwe (Xinhua)
Zimbabwe’s defence minister has indicated that her country is unlikely to provide military support to Mozambique without a joint effort by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told the state-run Herald newspaper that the situation in Cabo Delgado province was worrying because Mozambique was Zimbabwe’s “lifeline”, providing sea and oil pipeline links, and that the SADC needed to come up with a position. Muchinguri-Kashiri said that Zimbabwe’s intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo had resulted in economic sanctions, adding: “As a region, we agreed that it should not just be a few countries that take part in regional security issues.” Her comments come after Patrick Chinamasa, spokesman for Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party, criticised the SADC for not yet making a decision about sending a military force to Mozambique.

Petition to release Nigerian arrested in Cabo Delgado (The Nation)
Locals in the Nigerian town of Agbaghara Nsu have petitioned the president of Nigeria’s Senate, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan, to intervene in the disappearance of Theodore Malachi from Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado earlier this year. According to the petition, Malachi was arrested by the Mozambican military on 18 March on charges of sponsoring state terrorism. He has not been seen since. He was arrested along with fellow Nigerian Paul Obasi and was not allowed to contact anyone, except for a few phone calls to his wife. Obasi, who was released after three weeks, said he did not know where Malachi was now. Malachi has been arrested “in place of one Amiss Hassan, probable sponsor of terrorism,” the petition explains, noting that a senior Mozambican officer had called Malachi’s wife, and said her husband would be released if she accepted that he was from Tanzania, not Nigeria, and that his real name was Amiss Hassan. “It was when the wife turned down all their requests that they stopped calling her,” the petition says.

Consortium submits application to build Rovuma-Gauteng gas pipeline (Diário Económico)
An application to build a gas pipeline linking the Rovuma Basin off the coast of Mozambique and Gauteng in South Africa is due to be submitted to the Mozambican government today. The statement came on Thursday from the advisor to the board of directors of African Renaissance Pipeline Ltd, Kwasi Agbley, which plans to build and finance the 2600km pipeline. If approved, Agbley said the works would start in the next three months, with the first phase, from the Rovuma Basin to Maputo province, to be finished in 2025. The planned investment is around $6bn, which he said would come entirely from private investors, speaking at the Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit. The shareholders are state-owned oil and gas company ENH, Profin Consulting, Progas Investment and China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau International.
This project is related to general Alberto Chipande and Olivia Machel, daughter of former president Samora Machel. Another north-south pipeline project is sponsored by the investors in the Matola Gas Company, namely Gigajoule, and former president Joaquim Chissano — but their new project to build an LNG import terminal at Matola, with the support of Total, probably means that no ‘Rovuma to Maputo’ pipeline will ever be built.

Malawi and Mozambique sign memorandum for construction of railway line (Rádio Moçambique)
The governments of Malawi and Mozambique have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a new railway line connecting the district of Mutarara in Tete to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Once in operation, the 44km line — which will cost $26m to build — will be able to handle more than 80m tonnes per year (mtpa) of cargo, transport minister Janfar Abdulai said during a press conference in Beira. Malawi currently receives more than 48mtpa of cargo from Mozambique’s ports of Beira and Nacala.
According to railway sources contacted by Zitamar, the project is a major rehabilitation of a section of the old Transzambezia Railways, which connects the town of Dona Ana in Mutarara, on the Sena line, to Vila Nova da Fronteira, and then Limbe in Malawi. This line was destroyed during the war with Renamo and never repaired. The rehabilitation was part of the talks between the new Malawian President and president Filipe Nyusy held last month in Songo. This line is a cheaper alternative for Malawi to access the sea via the port of Beira, compared with using the Nacala line. It seems the new Malawian President is prepared to face the fact that Mozambique will never allow it to use the Shire and Zambezi rivers to access the Indian Ocean.

President’s brother Albino Nyusi dies (Rádio Moçambique)
Albino Nyusi, administrator of the Quirimbas National Park in Cabo Delgado and brother of President Filipe Nyusi, died on Friday in Maputo city. He had been ill [the illness was not reported]. The wake will take place today in Pemba city and the burial in Montepuez district tomorrow.
Unofficial sources told Zitamar he died of a respiratory disease, possibly covid-19.

Company Announcements

  • Pathfinder Minerals published financial results for the six months ending 30 June, including a loss of £228,000 ($295,000) and cash and cash equivalents of £271,000. Chairman Dennis Edmonds said in a statement that the board was reviewing a new strategy to seek the return of the company’s mining licences in Mozambique, and that it would update shareholders imminently (see here)
  • The Ministry of the Economy and Finance said that it held a seminar with the Ministry of Health to discuss the setting up of a commission to manage covid-19 prevention and control measures within the ministry (see here). The ministry also published an information note about the debt service suspension initiative reached with the Paris Club of foreign country creditors (see here)
  • Mitsui reported financial results for the six months to 30 September, including earnings of -¥26.7bn (-$255m) at its Nacala Logistics rail and port business in Mozambique, a fall of ¥27.1bn year-on-year. Mitsui continued to report a loss on its share in the Area 1 liquefied natural gas project owing to a deferred tax asset (see here)
  • The US Embassy in Maputo said that the US government had provided a $300,000 grant to support the consultation process for the creation of a Mozambican sovereign wealth fund. The money, from the Department of State’s tax transparency fund, will be used by a programme run by the NGO N’weti. A joint statement from the embassy and N’weti said that they hoped all Mozambicans could have a say in how the fund was structured. N’weti, in consortium with other NGOs, intends to begin consultations in November
    N’weti and its founder, Denise Namburete, have been the most influential civil society voice in pushing for transparency over the ‘hidden debts’, when N’weti held the rotating chair of the Budget Monetary Forum
  • The OPEC Fund for International Development said it had approved a $50m loan to “help boost energy access in Mozambique” (see here)

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