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Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 26 July, 2018.


  • Tomorrow: Workshop about new perspectives on the business environment, organized by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce
  • Tomorrow: A total lunar eclipse can be seen across Mozambique from 19:00 on Friday to 02:13 on Saturday

The latest from Zitamar News:

Study says Mozambique’s ‘politicised’ mining sector invites corruption
A concentration of power with the politically-appointed minister opens the door for corruption, CIP says

The best of the rest:

  • Helena Taipo named new ambassador to Angola
  • Nini Satar arrested in Thailand
  • Policeman assassinated in Pemba
  • Gilberto Mendes will run for Maputo mayor as an independent
  • Electoral census for 2019 elections scheduled for March-May
  • Mcel says it is not operating illegally

Helena Taipo named new ambassador to Angola (Rádio Moçambique, MediaFax)
Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi yesterday removed Helena Taipo as governor of Sofala, giving her the ambassador job to Angola, replacing Santos Álvaro. Diario da Zambezia has an unconfirmed report that deputy transport minister Manuela Rebelo will take over in Sofala.
Taipo, who was a fearsome labour minister under Armando Guebuza’s administration, has not reconciled herself to Nyusi’s presidency and has been a regular annoyance to his administration, on issues such as Gorongosa National Park and, more importantly, the treatment of Renamo. She had been said to be seeking to run for mayor of Beira in this year’s municipal elections - yet another reason for Nyusi to want her out of the country.

Nini Satar arrested in Thailand (VoA, @Verdade, Savana)
Momade Assife Abdul Satar, more commonly known as Nini Satar, was arrested yesterday in Thailand, Mozambique’s prosecutor-general announced yesterday. Satar skipped parole four years ago having served a number of years in jail for having ordered the murder of journalist Carlos Cardoso in 2000. The attorney general obtained an international arrest warrant for Satar last year, accusing him of masterminding the escape of two men charged with kidnappings in Maputo. The attorney general’s office is currently pursuing his extradition to Mozambique.
Satar had received judicial authorization to leave the country for medical treatment when he went to India four years ago. Once he left, however, he evaded capture until yesterday, in part by traveling under false names - though until the new warrant was issued last year, he appeared on Facebook to be living very obviously between London and Lisbon. He was arrested yesterday with a fake passport under the name Sahim Mohammad Aslam.

Policeman assassinated in Pemba (Notícias)
Individuals still at large murdered a Mozambican police officer as he walked with his daughter near his home in the Cariacó neighborhood of Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado province. The attackers set upon the officer, who had just been assigned to the police unit in Pemba the previous day, with knives and catanas. Reports suggest that after the killing the attackers gave the officer’s daughter his pistol.
Police offered no speculation about the identities of the attackers or a motive for the attack, but if initial reports are correct it is unlikely that the attackers were from the insurgent group that has terrorized Cabo Delgado since last October. The insurgents have shown no capacity to operate in Pemba, the seat of government power in Cabo Delgado, and they would probably have stolen his firearm rather than handing it to his daughter.

Gilberto Mendes will run for Maputo mayor as an independent (Folha de Maputo)
Gilberto Mendes formally announced on Tuesday night, via his Facebook page, that he will run for mayor of Maputo as an independent in 10 October municipal elections. Mendes’s announcement came after Frelimo left him off the shortlist to be the party’s candidate. Samora Machel Júnior, who is in a similar position to Mendes regarding Frelimo, has threatened to run as an independent as well if Frelimo does not provide a satisfactory written explanation of why he was not considered to head the ruling party’s list.
The new election format means that an independent candidate will have to run as the head of a list - and that list will have to beat all the other parties for its head to become mayor. It’s a tall order for Mendes, and will surely be impossible if ‘Samito’ also runs as an independent.

Electoral census for 2019 elections scheduled for March-May (Notícias)
The electoral census for national elections scheduled for 15 October, 2019 will take place between 4 March and 2 May of next year. Candidate registration will take place between 8 June and 6 August.
So far, all indications are that President Nyusi will be Frelimo’s presidential candidate in 2019. For Renamo and MDM, however, predicting a candidate is not so easy. Afonso Dhlakama’s death leaves a power void atop Renamo, and MDM leader Daviz Simango recently said that he did not wish to compete in 2019 elections - though he’s claimed the same thing about the Beira mayoralty, where he is running again this year.

Mcel says it is not operating illegally (Press release)
State-owned mobile telecoms operator Mcel has clarified that it still has a current 3G licence, meaning it is not operating illegally, as claimed by O País yesterday (see Zitamar Daily Briefing, 25 July 2018). Its 2G licence expired at the end of May, and it is currently negotiating with the regulator, INCM, for a unified licence which would cover 2G, 3G, and fixed line which is operated by TDM - with whom it is merging.