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Police admit killing Gaza election observer; Exxon awards EPC contract for $30 billion Rovuma LNG project

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 8 October, 2019

Zitamar now offers a bespoke clipping service — Mozambique Media Monitoring —customised to each client’s needs and interests, to arrive in your inbox by 09:30 each morning, Monday to Friday. To find out more, email


  • Today: Ceremony to mark initial investment decision for Rovuma LNG (Area 4) project, Hotel Glória, Maputo
  • Today: Financing signing ceremony for Chimuara-Nacala electricity transmission line, EDM headquarters, Maputo
  • 15 October: Elections for the presidency, provincial governorships, seats in the National Assembly and provincial assemblies
  • 23-24 October: Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russian Federation, with Mozambican government delegation due to attend

From the Zitamar Live Blog

Police admit killing Gaza election observer
The Mozambican police force have confirmed that Gaza election observer Anastacio Matavel was killed by members of the Special Operations Group (GOE) of the police’s Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR). The heads of those two units in Gaza have been suspended, and an internal inquiry has 15 days to report.

The latest from Zitamar News:

Gaza observer assassination ‘aimed at intimidating civil society’
The killing of Gaza election observation coordinator Anastacio Matavel is “a message of intimidation to civil society” from those “with an interest in there not being proper election observation in Gaza"

Exxon awards EPC contract for $30 billion Rovuma LNG project
A joint venture between JGC, Fluor and TechnipFMC has won the engineering contract for ExxonMobil’s Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique. FID on the project is now expected in early 2020.

The best of the rest:

  • Security forces claim killing nine insurgents (AIM)
  • Late Renamo leader’s brother joins Momade campaign (Notícias)
  • Ossufo Momade barred from landing in Manica for campaign (VoA)
  • Frelimo spokesman booed during speech (Dossiers e Factos)
  • LAM resumes flights to Europe (AIM, Lusa)

Security forces claim killing nine insurgents AIM)
Mozambique's defence and security forces claim to have killed nine insurgents in the Limala-Nbau area of Mocímboa da Praia district in the northern province of Cabo Delgado last Saturday. These deaths took place after defence minister Atanásio M'tumuke visited the north to inspect troops, according to a statement sent to the state news agency AIM. The statement added that “the operations proceed and the forces are still in combat readiness”.
The lack of detail about the operation may imply that it is just a campaign speech, as the defense forces have so far been ineffective in fighting the insurgency and have themselves suffered casualties, as reported by Zitamar Daily Briefing. The news comes on the same day as video footage showing Ossufo Momade arriving at Mocimboa da Praia, being welcomed by a large crowd chanting "Frelimo brought Al Shabab".

Late Renamo leader’s brother joins Momade campaign (Notícias)
Elias Dhlakama, brother of the dead former Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, has asked people to vote for Renamo and its presidential candidate Ossufo Momade. Dhlakama made the comments while campaigning in Chibabava district in the central province of Sofala last weekend, and promised better living conditions and public services such as education and health if Momade were elected.
Elias is the second member of the Dhlakama family after Afonso’s son to publicly demonstrate support for Ossufo Momade, helping refute accusations by Mariano Nhongo, the leader of the self styled Renamo Military Junta, that Momade is a traitor to the ideals of the late Dhlakama.

Ossufo Momade barred from landing in Manica for campaign (VoA)
Ossufo Momade, leader and presidential candidate for the largest opposition party, Renamo, was forced to cancel his campaign in several districts of the central, opposition-leaning province of Manica, after the authorities ordered the closure of airfields and cancellation of the campaign committee’s flight plan, preventing them from landing in the area, according to Alfredo Magumisse, Renamo’s candidate for governor of Manica.
The accusations might or might not be true — but Frelimo has certainly been using underhand tactics to frustrate opposition campaigns, such as block-booking public squares throughout the campaign period or organising children’s football matches where Renamo was planning to campaign.

Frelimo spokesman booed at manifesto presentation in Maputo (Dossiers e Factos)
Caifadine Manasse, a Frelimo member of parliament and party spokesman, was booed by the audience when he told a meeting that his party was relentless in the fight against corruption and that it would ensure the accountability of all corrupt citizens. Manasse, who carried on with his presentation despite the boos, was speaking at a manifesto fair where the representatives of the three major parties, Frelimo, MDM and Renamo, had the opportunity to present their plans for government. Venâncio Mondlane, speaking for Renamo, focused on Mozambique’s problems, quoting a study that classifies the country as a failed state and said that Renamo intends to guarantee a free, fair and prosperous society and separation of powers. MDM representative Celestino Bento promised jobs, improved salaries for public servants and the training of technical staff to exploit the country’s mineral resources.
In the absence of credible policy proposals from all parties, the question of corruption is — as ever — a central one in deciding how people will vote. Nyusi’s first five years in power have seen a number of eye-catching crackdowns on graft, but hidden-debts and other scandals mean the party is still heavily associated with corruption.

LAM resumes flights to Europe (AIM, Lusa)
Mozambique’s state-owned airline LAM will resume flying into Europe next year, with direct flights between Maputo and Lisbon three times a week each way from 31 March 2020. “We re-entered this route because we understood the need to satisfy a strong desire of friendly customers who had long awaited our direct flights,” said João Jorge, LAM director. The overnight flights will be operated in partnership with the private airline Hi-Fly, using their Airbus A340-300 for a six-month trial period.
The partnership between LAM and Hi-Fly to resume flights between Maputo and Lisbon was previously revealed by Zitamar Daily Briefing and is now confirmed. João Jorge's speech overlooks the fact that LAM had to stop flying over Europe because it was banned by the European Union for security shortcomings. The announcement is another clear event to boost the Frelimo campaign increasing the number of new initiatives taken by the current government.

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