Welcome to a free edition of the Zitamar Daily Briefing, bringing the biggest Mozambique news to our subscribers every day.
- Today: Last day of President Nyusi’s two-day visit to Nampula province
On the Zitamar Live Blog:
Renamo selects provincial governor candidates
Renamo is today choosing its candidates for national and provincial parliamentary elections to be held in October — including the provincial ‘head of lists’ who will be the party’s candidates for governor in each province.
For details, head to the blog — on the Zitamar website, or on the Telegram app.
The best of the rest:
- PGR questions Nyusi but not Guebuza over ‘hidden debts’ (Savana)
- Ten beheadings in latest attack on Palma village (Carta de Moçambique)
- World Bank is Mozambique’s biggest creditor to ‘keep Frelimo in power’ (A Verdade)
- FDI back on the rise after falling for 4 years (Carta de Moçambique)
- Mozambique’s export revenues up 10% in 2018 (Carta de Moçambique)
- Police chief gives SA deadline to clarify Mozambique border guards’ murder (O País)
PGR questions Nyusi but not Guebuza over ‘hidden debts’ (Savana)
Mozambique’s Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) has questioned President Filipe Nyusi in connection with the hidden debts scandal, as one of 47 witnesses, including current finance minister Adriano Maleiane and defence minister Alberto M’tumuke, but not former president Armando Guebuza. Guebuza was cited several times in the PGR’s 120-page indictment, and was implicated in the scandal by a letter sent to him by Privinvest owner Iskandar Safa. The prosecution has also been unable to say how and where Guebuza’s son Ndambi Guebuza spent the $33 million dollars he received in bribes — though it was successful in following the money trail of the other defendants in the case. The prosecution has accused 20 defendants, of which 10 are being held in custody since February.
Ten beheadings in latest attack on Palma village (Carta de Moçambique)
Insurgents killed 11 people in an attack on the village of Quissungule (or Kisungule) in Palma district, Cabo Delgado, on Wednesday night, 26 June. Ten of the dead were beheaded, according to reports; an unknown number of houses were destroyed, and several shops were looted.
World Bank is Mozambique’s biggest creditor to ‘keep Frelimo in power’ (A Verdade)
The World Bank is part of a “perfect triangle” of donors keeping Frelimo in power, having not stopped lending to the government throughout the ‘hidden debts’ crisis, economist João Mosca tells A Verdade. The World Bank is Mozambique’s biggest creditor, and allows donor countries to keep giving to the Frelimo government in secret, says Mosca. The other two elements of the ‘triangle’ are the IMF, which is promising a programme after this year’s elections, and the international community which affirms the government stance that there is no crisis. The World Bank lent around $104m to Mozambique in 2017, and $165m in 2018, A Verdade reports.
The World Bank reacted angrily to a Zitamar article in April 2016 saying that, under its own rules, it would have to stop lending to Mozambique. Sure enough, the World Bank did not stop lending — remaining, as A Verdade points out, a steadfast partner to the Mozambican government, to the bemusement of many observers who expected the Bank to fall in line with the generalised donor freeze in 2016.
FDI back on the rise after falling for 4 years (Carta de Moçambique)
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mozambique increased from $2.3 billion in 2017 to $2.7 billion in 2018, according to a Bank of Mozambique report. The decline from 2013 to 2017 reflected the end of the last mega projects cycle, and the start of operation of projects set up between 2010-2013 — leading to a reduction in investment while other projects waited or final investment decisions (FID) or government approval. The extractive industry receives about 77% of Mozambique’s FDI, mostly in the gas sector, according to the report.
The figures for FDI this year should increase yet further after FID on the Anadarko-led Mozambique LNG project.
Mozambique’s export revenues up 10% in 2018 (Carta de Moçambique)
Exports grew 10% last year to $5.2 billion, 37.7% of GDP, according to the same Bank of Mozambique report. The increase was driven by mega projects, responsible for 75.3% of the export revenues, led by coal and aluminium which exported $1.7 billion and $1.2 billion respectively. Meanwhile, export revenues from agricultural products recorded a 10% drop, from $335.7 million in 2017 to $301.8 million due to falling exports of cashew nut and cotton.
There are doubts if the strong export performance can be maintained in 2019 due heavy losses in the agriculture sector caused by cyclones Idai and Kenneth, and lower aluminium exports.
Police chief gives SA deadline to clarify Mozambique border guards’ murder (O País)
South Africa has until Monday, 1 July, to explain the assassination of two Mozambican border guards by soldiers of the South Africa’s National Defence Force (SANDF) earlier this month, Mozambique’s police chief Bernardino Rafael said. He also demanded that Mozambican officers be included in the South Africa team investigating the case. The commander of operations of the South African Armed Forces, Lt-Gen Barney Muntu, came to Mozambique on Wednesday to formally apologise for the incident on behalf of his government. But the agents involved in the shooting reportedly continue to work normally, and no disciplinary or judicial proceedings have been initiated.
Despite both sides emphasising the good relations between the countries, the Mozambican police force is politicizing the issue — perhaps to try and dispel the popular perception that the government in Maputo is indifferent to the mistreatment of Mozambicans by the South Afrian authorities.
- A state-owned Chinese company is taking a 34% stake in graphite producer Triton Minerals for A$19.5m (US$13.7m), which should allow Triton to start developing the Ancuabe Graphite Project in Cabo Delgado
- Vale has created a separate coal department in its business, to be headed up by Juarez Saliba, who is also the company’s director of strategy, exploration, new business and technology. He has worked for Vale for 17 years, and has been tasked with “of stabilizing production for the sustainable and reliable development of the coal business.” Currently, Vale’s only coal business is in Mozambique.
Photo of the Day
Candidate 1 — Ricardo Tomas — has won a convincing victory to be Renamo’s candidate for governor of the province of Tete